[21:47:38] <Flaurentine> And poor timid Flaurentine was shooed out by her beloved Major, at least for a period of alone-time for him. All she could do is accept, giving a gesture of thanks to the others. But as most of them had their conversation and whatnot, she slipped away to a corner to scribble in her flipbook.
[21:50:51] * Elsa is conveniently sitting in the same corner Flauri was headed. Almost nodding off with her already signature coat. She's just waiting for the ship to get to port, and with no cards theres really not much to do to pass the time.
[21:52:08] <Flaurentine> The feeling is mutual. Scribble scribble… scribble. The not-as-timid-anymore girl's writing slows down as she shoots a glance. "Ah… um…" She gives a small gulp. "I hope you don't mind if… if I say 'thank you' for coming to see us."
[21:56:56] * Elsa nods and almost snorts as she wakes up a nd looks at the tmid black haired girl. "Oh sure no problem! We were worried about you and Donalds." She crosses her arms, "THough I think it was weird that the soldiers would attack both of our schools."
[21:58:46] <Flaurentine> "B-Both?!" Flauri's lip quivers, but she settles down to sit in a more comfortable position. "I… was very worried about everybody while we were gone, no matter how happy I was that we were able to be together again… and that he was… well… still alive." She pauses to take a deep breath before continuing. "It… was resolved okay, right? With no more innocents getting hurt?"
[22:02:43] <Elsa> "None of the girls got hurt at our place, but some of the officers died, I barely knew them but it was really sad regardless." She twists a bit to make her wings more comfortable and looks up at the girl again, "Worrying about things that already happened isn't too good of a habit."
[22:04:34] <Flaurentine> "I… you're right, I'm sorry. It's just… if any of you get hurt…" A cringe. Slowly, her finger reaches up to point to the other girl's back. "But… ah… I was wondering… how are they? They're not… uncomfortable, are they?"
[22:06:47] <Elsa> "Yeah, I just wish I could just spread them without any worries. But I can't really do that unless its somewhere private…and I don't really know any of those places in this ship. Its worse when I get a cramp."
[22:11:54] * Flaurentine puts a hand to her mouth and giggles a little. "I'm glad to see you're getting along okay! I… really was worried that they'd end up being a burden. Ah… and I…" With a small gulp, one hand pinches the other arm's wrist, noting the odd sounds coming from it.
[22:15:33] * Elsa looks at the girl, "So how are your memories coming along? Its been a while since we last saw you." She pats the ground beside her. "You got lost very far away from home too."
[22:18:33] * Flaurentine slowly scoots over, blush on her face returning. "I… I remember most of it. From what I remember and what the Major told me, I used to be more… cheerful and assertive." Forcing on a smile, she still looks straight down. "I'm trying my best to do that again to make him happy, even if… I don't think I'm doing a very good job. I guess… there was a reason why I forgot it all too, though."
[22:22:18] <Elsa> "Well, don't force yourself too much with that, you are maybe different now than then." She squirms in her coat and single orange feather falls to the floor. "Hey by any chance do you know a room people don't visit too often?"
[22:25:00] <Flaurentine> "W… Well… I haven't been here for long, but if I…" A hand reaches toward her chest for something that's been there all along, while the other hand presses its fingers together and then to a wall. With a happy smile, she stands up and steps back, pointing slightly downward. "There's an empty room down there. I-I can take you there when nobody's looking?"
[22:27:16] <Elsa> "Really? that would be great!" She begins unbuttoning her coat in anticipation and grabs the not-so-timid girl by the wrist and says, "Lead the way!"
[22:29:07] <Flaurentine> "R-Right!" Flauri's hand slowly stretches out, but then pulls back. With a small gasp for air and her eyes clothing it yanks straight back out, causing the two to vanish from existence and reappear in a vacant, probably storage room. On top of some boxes, no less! "Is… this alright? I gauged the distance to make sure nobody would get stuck in a wall or the floor, but I didn't actually feel for the kind of room it was…"
[22:32:54] * Elsa looks surprised and promptly tries moving around to see if she actually isn't stuck anywhere. After a quick look around she takes off her coat and her wings spread out with whoosh. "Ah~ thats much better."
[22:33:32] * Elsa takes a look at her wings and wonders out loud, "I wonder how the people back home will react to this."
[22:34:16] <Flaurentine> Another little giggle. "Hee hee. It must really feel nice… I'm glad I didn't do anything unnecessary to them." Flauri herself reaches for her arms before headshaking and deciding against an idea like THAT. "I… does that mean you have somewhere to go back to, Miss Elsa?"
[22:38:26] <Elsa> "Oh yeah, raised in a circus, can't tell you its name because da- Mister Foreman sometimes changes it whenever he wants to, to make people think that its a different one or something." She says proudly, "I was going to be a firebreather but he sent me to school. I think the only reason I got in was because I could use magic."
[22:40:32] <Flaurentine> A very girly gasp comes from the twintailed little girl, as she shakes her head with VIGOR. "I-I'm sure that's not true! Only some of my memories came back… but I remember being told I studied hard my whole life just so I could meet the Major again. So… I don't think any of us are only there just because of that." A pause. "… Right?"
[22:41:22] <Flaurentine> "Still… I'm a little envious. Remembering your family must be…" The sentence cuts off halfway for the opportunity to wipe a small tear off.
[22:42:19] * Elsa looks unsure and twiddles her thumbs, "Well, I'm not really smart…and I need help in most of my classes."
[22:42:46] <Flaurentine> "But… you really wanted to be in them and try your hardest, right?"
[22:44:36] <Elsa> "Well…yeah…but.." How did she end up in being interrogated by the shy girl again?
[22:45:58] <Flaurentine> Magic, is the only answer. "T-Then you just need to know that you're doing the best you can! I know I don't want to disappoint him, so even after I forgot everything I learned I studied hard to learn it again…" Her eyes dart to the side. "And… you're a braver person than I am. I know you can do it, if I could."
[22:48:42] * Elsa nods weakly, "Yeah…I guess you're right, its just that all this flying and fighting…just makes it seem that way."
[22:50:33] * Flaurentine brings a hand to her heart. "I'm… proud that I can serve my country, even if everything I have to do is really scary. Even if I can't force myself to forget what I have to do to living people with homes and families… it's all for the sake of peace, and of everybody being happy later on, right?" The shy girl slinks down and goes back to being shy after the patriotic speech. "I-I think studying is a part of that, too."
[22:52:17] * Elsa looks nervous, this Flauri is very different from the other one, "I…Never thought about it that way…maybe I should study math harder, you need that for money things, right?"
[22:53:26] <Flaurentine> "I… I study math because I like learning, and because I get to be closer to…" The blush on her face explodes like a volcano. "O-Oh no, what am I saying? T-That's not why I study math at all!" … It actually is. The shock on her face is enough to show that much.
[22:54:42] <Elsa> "Oh~ you got someone you're interested in?" she knudges the girl's side with her elbow, thankful a change of subject happened.
[22:55:24] <Flaurentine> "Ah… um… that's right." The blush is even heavier, with a hint of confusion as though she thought everybody knew.
[22:56:42] * Elsa is as thick as lead when it comes to this sort of thing ad if she knew she forgot already. "Oh really? Who is he?"
[22:57:33] <Flaurentine> A blink, in return. While Flauri isn't dense herself, she's also not a liar. "The Major, of course! I love him!"
[22:58:41] <Flaurentine> "After all… without him, I never would've had any idea what having a father was like." An afterthought sends her eyes straight to the ground. "I might've starved to death too…"
[22:59:38] <Elsa> "Donalds?" She sounds surprised, "He's old enough to be your dad…but I guess your heart is in the right place…Though Jus and Kate are hard to figure out, I think they…like each other?"
[23:00:30] <Flaurentine> Maybe a HINT of denseness. Her head tilts to the side with an unending smile. "We're all like family, though, aren't we? I see them like sisters!"
[23:00:50] <Flaurentine> "And… sisters are… supposed to like each other, aren't they?"
[23:02:16] <Elsa> "I mean, Joslyn did some weird things before we met you, she kinda kissed Cait on the mouth. I've only seen gypsy girls do that."
[23:03:23] <Flaurentine> "O… Oh…" Sitting on a box, her legs dangle. "If anybody asked me, I'd still think that's… what all family members do. I haven't had a real one, and my memories before coming to Bruinham are still…" A small shake.
[23:04:01] <Flaurentine> Another afterthought. "Then again, the major and I haven't…" Her hand covers her mouth before another word, with a loud gasp.
[23:05:45] <Elsa> "Well, my family is pretty big, but different from a normal family and the only ones that ever kissed other girls like that were the gypsies. So really, I don't know."
[23:07:25] <Flaurentine> "A kiss… is just a way of telling somebody that you like them, right?" Another small head-tilt. "I hear it talked about at school… and since all families like each other, it's okay, right? I'm happy that they're able to feel that way." Of course, she's not quite making the connection about kissing on the lips and not anywhere else, but fragmented memories ARE fragmented memories after all.
[23:08:05] <Flaurentine> Shuffle shuffle. "Um… Miss Elsa…?"
[23:09:05] * Elsa stretches her wings and flaps them once, her scar visible uner her right sleeve. "Yeah?"
[23:10:22] * Flaurentine looks away— she would've anyway, with her eyes tossing their gaze to a corner. "Would it… be to unprofessional of me to ask the Major permission for a… kiss on the mouth? We've been through so much, and I know how I feel about him, but I don't know if he sees me the same way…"
[23:10:37] <Flaurentine> "I-I don't want to hurt him any more than I already have."
[23:11:43] * Elsa sighs, "I really don't know…mayybe you should try and figure out how he feels about you, it would be weird if he sees you like a daughter."
[23:12:50] <Flaurentine> Another head-tilt. "But.. But I do see him like a father! You mean… that isn't normal for parents after all?"
[23:15:17] <Elsa> "Well, I don't feel like kissing my dad on the mouth, never even thought about it."
[23:15:49] <Flaurentine> "O… Oh.. Then… maybe it's something else." Now the look on her face is as confused as it gets.
[23:16:35] <Flaurentine> "Um… i-if it wouldn't be too much trouble, do you think you could tell me about what it's like to grow up with a family sometime? I'd… definitely love to hear it."
[23:18:20] <Elsa> "Well, just so you know, almost no one is blood related, so I guess Cait or Jos would be better for a more normal way of growing up, but I would love to tell you sometime."
[23:19:41] <Flaurentine> A big, chipper nod. "My childhood is still missing! I feel like… I'm so behind everybody else sometimes because of that. So I'd like to hear what it was like from everybody else…" Looking straight up, a jump. "Ah… um… w-we should probably get back to the others, shouldn't we?"
[23:20:24] <Elsa> "Yeah…we really should."
[23:20:55] <Flaurentine> "Okay… um, please don't move." Their fingers brush together…
[23:21:00] <Flaurentine> VWOOP.
[23:21:05] <Flaurentine> And that was that.
[23:21:10] <Flaurentine> /session
[19:10:42] * Oxford changes topic to 'IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: All passengers are to remain in quarters and away from portholes.'
[19:13:56] <~Oxford> The five girls float in the pouring rain above the deck of a freighter, bound to Bougnetsport from Hispalia. Aboard are Major Donalds, several dozen civilian passengers, and hundreds of tonnes of cargo. To the rear of the ship, backlight by a flash of lightning, is the massive shape of a Novgoraadi commerce raider.
[19:16:08] <Flaurentine> "I… I'm honestly surprised. I-Is she going to be joining us so soon? Will she be alright?" Flauri keeps herself afloat with minor noise, wincing at the sound of the rain so close to her ears. The actual physical aspects of it don't seem to even bother her, however.
[19:16:25] <Joslyn> "We're on our own here…just keep calm and remember how this goes. We'll all get out of it fine." Joslyn's saying this more for her own benefits than that of her allies, but still. "Ærendis?"
[19:17:35] * Aerendis is alerted by Joslyn. She looks over and quickly answers "Yes?"
[19:18:16] <Joslyn> "I know this may be kind of disorienting. Normally I'd ask you to sit this out…but you say you have military experience, right?"
[19:18:29] * Elsa looks over at the ship, "Oh damnit! Not AGAIN!" Why don't they gever get any rest, its a conspiracy damnit!
[19:18:49] <Caitlin> "I don't know what exactly your powers might be, but I would urge you to concentrate on the effect you desire and make good use of your imagination. It seems as though powers are based in the mind more than the body… At least, I believe they are."
[19:19:53] <~Oxford> Even as they watch, the cruiser glides noiselessly nearer, its gray hull making it hard to pick out against the driving rain.
[19:20:18] <Joslyn> "Kate's got the gist of it. focus on the effect you want and it'll come naturally. just keep your cool and call for help if you need it. Got that?"
[19:20:33] * Elsa grabs onto Flauri's hand, "I got an idea!, lets go, we don't have much time."
[19:20:35] <Flaurentine> "That's… correct, Ms. Caitlin. I've, ah, been learning more about mine while we were away…" A deep breath, as the blush on her face doesn't subside even if her outfit is constantly changing color. "I'd… like to make a request, though, i-if everybody doesn't mind."
[19:20:46] <Flaurentine> "A-Ahh! W-Wait, that wasn't what I-" She gets dragged off midsentence.
[19:21:07] * Aerendis nods. "I've had some experience. If you want me to help, i'll do my best, M'am"
[19:21:12] <Joslyn> "
[19:21:33] <Joslyn> "We're gonna need all the help we can get. Anything you can do for us would be greatly appreiciated."
[19:22:36] * Flaurentine forces herself out of the girl's grasp by appearing a couple feet away. Tapping her headset, she clears her throat once. "Actually… I believe I might be able to move things from afar. A-And people! It's been difficult to learn, but…"
[19:22:46] <~Oxford> The enemy ship suddenly lights up like a city skyline, searchlights springing to life and rotating to fix their beams on its quarry. The freighter is bathed in pale white light.
[19:22:54] <Caitlin> Caitlin looks over to Flauri with interest, "A request? …Have you developed a new tactic, Flauri?" Caitlin turns back to Aerendis and Joslyn, "If you really are a veteran, we truly would greatly appreciate your assistance! Our own experience is limited and informally trained."
[19:23:41] <Elsa> "So what are you saying we should do flauri? Its a ship its gonna be easier to raid it!"
[19:24:15] <Flaurentine> Little Flauri descends a bit and speaks from radio alone. "I'd like to assure the freighter's safety… if… if everybody doesn't mind. I may be able to position everybody near the enemy, or away if need be. I… um… it's like I can hear where it's at, essentially."
[19:24:41] <Aerendis> "I'll admit, i'm not exper…perienced in Naval combat…" Ærendis says, before shaking her head "But i'll try my best."
[19:24:48] <~Oxford> The main cannon, a massive, three-barrelled turret, rotates to the target and prepares to fire. Whatever their plans, it's time to put them into action.
[19:25:30] <Elsa> "Okay!, Flauri get me inside the ship!" She suddenly yells out
[19:25:56] <Joslyn> "Ærendis, Cait, you're with me. let's see if we can shut down that cannon!"
[19:25:37] <@Oxford> 'Bout that time, hombreadores. Arrays!
[19:26:08] <Joslyn> 10/8/6 mhf
[19:26:22] <Elsa> 8/9/3
[19:26:39] <Flaurentine> Entering support mode. 4/3/5.
[19:26:43] <Aerendis> 9/5/3
[19:27:42] <Caitlin> 693
[19:27:15] <Flaurentine> "I understand, Miss Elsa. Please hold your position…" Clapping her hands together from a distance as the others leave, soundwaves ripple through the air.
[19:27:15] <Caitlin> "I trust your judgment, Flauri, if you think it's a good plan. Miss… Ah… Ærendis, please don't feel obligated to throw yourself into a situation you're not comfortable with… But we really would like if you would accompany us." Nod to Joslyn.
[19:28:40] * Oxford changes topic to 'Cruiser Distance-to-Target: 100m - Freighter HP: 50'
[19:29:51] <~Oxford> The sky sends dense sheets of rain into the ocean below, cutting visibility significantly. Anything beyond 200 metres or so is completely hidden.
[19:32:19] <Flaurentine> anyway, so this is sorcery for putting Elsie inside
[19:32:25] <Flaurentine> 3d6+5 inb4 1,1,1
[19:32:25] <+DiceMaid-9001> Flaurentine, inb4 1,1,1: 14 [3d6=4,1,4]
[19:33:31] <@Oxford> Gonna take another go at that one. She has a bit of trouble visualizing the interior, sense it isn't clear what the layout is.
[19:33:57] <@Oxford> (+2 to your next try; DC was 15 ;_;)
[19:35:07] <Flaurentine> "I hear…" Bzzt. Her radio crackles. "The rain makes it difficult to tell, I… apologize. Footsteps… main hall… this way… I may take a while to feel it. Please don't worry about holding your position just yet, Mi- I-I mean Jester."
[19:35:32] <Joslyn> 2d6+10 shoot the guns/gunner
[19:35:33] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, shoot the guns/gunner: 17 [2d6=3,4]
[19:35:54] <@Oxford> The main turret? Hits.
[19:36:20] <Joslyn> 1d6
[19:36:20] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 1d6: 4 [1d6=4]
[19:36:48] <@Oxford> Damage reduction! It takes 1!
[19:36:14] * Joslyn weaves her way through the rain to line up a shot at the massive turret facing the freighter. if she can blow that apart…
[19:37:44] <Elsa> "I'll cover you while you do your magic, don't worry." she says floating in front of her as if to cover her.
[19:38:11] <~Oxford> The huge turret is wreathed in flames, but the attack does little more than singe the exterior. Its thick iron plate was built to withstand hits from battleship-fire.
[19:38:50] <Flaurentine> But she's far away from the battlefield! "Um… I appreciate it, but it's alright. Please head to the front lines with the others, I… should be able to reach you from there. I'm only worried about a mistake in my calculations sending you into a wall, or worse…"
[19:42:44] <Aerendis> Ærendis quickly assesses the situation, quickly taking into account her new abilities. With practiced speed, she runs strait towards the railing of the ship, quickly jumping onto it, before diving off, strait towards the water. And then she pulls up, flying strait towards the raider, planning to stay as close to the dark, turbulent water as possible to avoid as much attention as possible.
[19:42:50] * Elsa nods and goes off to the aid Joslyn and the others, she charges forward and tries giving the battleship a very fiery kick.
[19:44:48] <Elsa> 3d6+7
[19:44:49] <+DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, 3d6+7: 19 [3d6=1,6,5]
[19:44:52] <Elsa> 1d6
[19:44:53] <+DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, 1d6: 5 [1d6=5]
[19:45:48] <Elsa> 1d6+4
[19:45:48] <+DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, 1d6+4: 7 [1d6=3]
[19:46:19] <@Oxford> Success! Deals 4 damage.
[19:47:04] <Elsa> That cannon, specifically.
[19:47:57] <~Oxford> The strike is stymied for a moment by the turret's armor, but then the plates begin to glow red-hot and buckle inward. The gunners within howl as liquid metal drips at them from the ceiling.
[19:50:38] <Caitlin> 2d6+8
[19:50:39] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, 2d6+8: 16 [2d6=3,5]
[19:51:14] <@Oxford> Alright, it works! Screw the pdf, though, have these instead:
[19:51:30] <@Oxford> http://www.wunderwaffe.narod.ru/WeaponBook/Nem_LKr/Draw/17.jpg
[19:52:50] <Caitlin> "I have something to try, as well." Caitlin summons up a scroll before her. She holds it up in the direction of the enemy ship; moments later, a flowing black script etches out an array of information.
[19:53:08] <Caitlin> 2d6+6 attack
[19:53:09] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, attack: 13 [2d6=5,2]
[19:54:58] <~Oxford> "GFN Kalinnin Type: light cruiser Displacement: 6,650 tons full load Length: 174 m Beam: 15.3 m Draught: 6.28 m Propulsion: 2 steam turbines, 6 boilers, + 2 MAN diesel, 2 shafts, 69,800 shp Speed: 32 knots Range: 7,300 nm at 17 knots Complement: 610…"
[19:55:48] <Caitlin> "Ah, Flauri, I've scouted some intelligence to share." What's that? Recite all that and describe a map? Hell no, not when you control the element of writing! The very same words appear in front of Flauri in black letters written on seemingly nothing in the air, yet remaining in a more or less constant location for the moment.
[19:55:53] <Caitlin> 1d6
[19:55:53] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, 1d6: 6 [1d6=6]
[19:56:36] <~Oxford> The text goes on to describe its main armament: 3 triple 15cm batteries, 3 88mm Flak cannons, 4 dual-37mm AA guns, 4 three-shot torpedo launchers…
[19:57:10] <Caitlin> Meanwhile, she attacks by writing out the word Pens and launching a stream of the needle-like implements from thin air.
[19:58:21] <Flaurentine> "Ah…! T-Thank you very much, Bookworm. I see, this… estimating the approximated amount of meters… this direction…" She keeps herself afloat while spreading the pages apart like the sort of technology that wouldn't even appear until science fiction 60+ years into the future. Nodding along, the timid little teleporter BLIPs her radio back on after assuring the position of everything. "Understood. This is Criss-Cross- I'd like to request you hold your position now, Jester. I'm going to send you into enemy territory on the count of three."
[19:58:48] <~Oxford> The stream ricochets off the plating, until it finds the weak spot where Elsa's kick landed. There, the projectiles break through, bouncing around the inside of the turret with deadly results.
[19:59:01] <Elsa> "Okay!" She completely stops
[19:59:04] <Flaurentine> Clap, clap. The sonar confirms the map-reads and pans out a clear path for the phoenix herself to get in. "One… two…"
[19:59:10] <Flaurentine> 4d6+5+2 can't botch this
[19:59:11] <+DiceMaid-9001> Flaurentine, can't botch this: 13 [4d6=2,2,1,1]
[19:59:36] <Caitlin> "…Ah, would you please not call me that? It's a rather embarrassing name to use." She certainly sounds embarrassed, especially hearing it come from Flauri.
[20:01:47] <~Oxford> Still, the cannon is already on-target. All it takes is for one brave lieutenant to pull the firing cord…
[20:01:52] <Flaurentine> "I… apologize, I thought it would be necessary to sound official while giving support." The sonar is interrupted by the rain— this was a BAD time to try using it.
[20:02:02] <@Oxford> 3d6 massive damage
[20:02:02] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, massive damage: 10 [3d6=4,4,2]
[20:02:51] <Caitlin> "Please don't think I'm mad or anything! It'd just be more comfortable if you didn't call me… that."
[20:03:05] <Elsa> "Aw you got me distracted for nothing!"
[20:03:50] <Flaurentine> "But callsigns.. a-aah! I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to forget! I… um… it's moving now, I'll have to recalculate."
[20:05:17] <~Oxford> The foot-wide barrels belch a triple-explosion, flash-boiling the rain as it falls. Three huge artillery shells race toward the freighter, and one of them strikes it amidships, ripping through several decks and leaving a cloud of black smoke billowing upwards.
[20:05:36] * Oxford changes topic to 'Cruiser Distance-to-Target: 100m - Freighter HP: 40'
[20:06:53] <~Oxford> On its deck, eight or nine smaller searchlights flicker on and track rapidly toward the girls, realizing the presence of a threat beyond the simple merchantman.
[20:11:30] <Joslyn> 3d6+10 gun and any nearby shooters
[20:11:31] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, gun and any nearby shooters: 19 [3d6=6,1,2]
[20:11:34] <Joslyn> 1d6
[20:11:34] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 1d6: 5 [1d6=5]
[20:12:33] <@Oxford> 3d6+6 Getting clashed by AA
[20:12:33] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, Getting clashed by AA: 20 [3d6=5,3,6]
[20:12:51] <@Oxford> 1d6 cloooose
[20:12:51] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, cloooose: 3 [1d6=3]
[20:12:57] <Joslyn> 1d6+2 I win
[20:12:58] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, I win: 8 [1d6=6]
[20:13:06] <@Oxford> You hit it! Target the turret, or the AA gun?
[20:13:24] <@Oxford> (it clashed, but they're both stationary so its your option)
[20:13:31] <Joslyn> turret. the sooner they're limited to small-arms fire, the better.
[20:14:45] * Joslyn frowns as Flauri tries to keep her bearings. "calm down Criss-Cross! focus of getting jester inside and she'll take it from there." Joslyn in the meantimes gets to blowing the ever-loving shit out of the giant gun with a swarm of missiles!
[20:16:41] <~Oxford> The attack shoots straight into the gaping hole left by their assault, missiles swarming inside like a dozen angry hornets. They strike the aiming mechanisms, crew, and unloaded powder charges, sending a tremendous explosion throughout the interior. Everyone inside the turret is dead.
[20:17:29] <Flaurentine> "I understand. I-I apologize, Iron Maiden! I can see with sound, but now that it's raining… I… ah… I-I feel so unprofessional…"
[20:18:11] <Joslyn> "Don't apologize to me! just concentrate on what you need to do. Block out the distractions and I know you'll make it work."
[20:25:37] <Caitlin> 3d6+9 get some fuckface
[20:25:38] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, get some fuckface: 19 [3d6=2,6,2]
[20:25:42] <Caitlin> 1d6 hoo rah
[20:25:43] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, hoo rah: 5 [1d6=5]
[20:26:15] <~Oxford> The searchlight beams against the pouring rain look like lances of white light, waving wildly as they trace the girls' paths.
[20:30:16] <@Oxford> 3d6+6 Alright. It'll clash for itself, then
[20:30:17] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, Alright. It'll clash for itself, then: 20 [3d6=3,5,6]
[20:30:34] <@Oxford> 1d6 holy deja vous
[20:30:34] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, holy deja vous: 1 [1d6=1]
[20:30:40] <@Oxford> Hits, roll damage
[20:30:51] <Caitlin> 1d6+4
[20:30:52] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, 1d6+4: 9 [1d6=5]
[20:32:49] <Caitlin> Caitlin cuts in close, swooping down by one of the bigger guns and quickly writing Repulsion along its side, planning to forcefully separate it from the body of the ship.
[20:34:53] <~Oxford> The manuever works like a charm. The AA cannon - and its helpless crew - are wrenched from the deck-mounting with a shriek of tearing metal and thrown overboard into the stormy seas below.
[20:37:31] * Aerendis takes the initiative and flies up, quickly skidding onto the deck of the enemy ship. She takes a half-moment to take in the targets, and then begins firing.
[20:38:49] <Aerendis> 5d6+2 (Both 5's and 6's explode)
[20:38:49] <+DiceMaid-9001> Aerendis, (Both 5's and 6's explode): 19 [5d6=6,5,1,2,3]
[20:38:54] <Aerendis> 2d6
[20:38:54] <+DiceMaid-9001> Aerendis, 2d6: 8 [2d6=3,5]
[20:39:12] <Aerendis> Hm. I didn't think of that. Should it count on further explosions?
[20:39:20] <@Oxford> mhm
[20:39:36] <Aerendis> 1d6
[20:39:37] <+DiceMaid-9001> Aerendis, 1d6: 3 [1d6=3]
[20:39:46] <@Oxford> (it's her first time and she's underestimating her powers, kawaiii~)
[20:40:14] <@Oxford> 30 total, right? The four small guns clash you.
[20:40:36] <@Oxford> 4#2d6+6
[20:40:36] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, 4#2d6+6: 10 [2d6=1,3], 12 [2d6=3,3], 11 [2d6=3,2], 15 [2d6=4,5]
[20:41:42] <~Oxford> (And go all-out for the fluff, that was a pretty significant attack)
[20:42:10] <~Oxford> You're also at 7 Fury OC, I think.
[20:42:56] <Aerendis> 1d6+16
[20:42:56] <+DiceMaid-9001> Aerendis, 1d6+16: 17 [1d6=1]
[20:43:01] <Aerendis> oh, 6 more
[20:43:05] <Aerendis> 6#1d6+16
[20:43:05] <+DiceMaid-9001> Aerendis, 6#1d6+16: 19 [1d6=3], 20 [1d6=4], 17 [1d6=1], 21 [1d6=5], 22 [1d6=6], 19 [1d6=3]
[20:44:55] <Aerendis> Arendis knows that her own abilities probably won't be enough…she focuses, trying to use the powers that this fancy amulet apparently gives her. And, one thing she's pretty good at is focusing. With a burst of magically augmented speed, she fires a round at everyone she sees. Heart or Head, of course.
[20:50:17] <~Oxford> Her hand moves faster than the eye can follow, snapping off a full magazine in less time than it takes to blink. For a moment, it seems as though nothing happened at all. Then 16 sailors of the Grand Fleet of Novgoraad crumple as one, red stains growing on their chests to mingle with the pooling rain.
[20:52:11] <~Oxford> The front-half of the ship has essentially fallen silent - nothing stirs amid the carnage. From the bridge, the captain looks on in disbelief.
[20:54:02] <Elsa> 4d6+8 taking 2 magic OC for this and using my free OC to do an extra 1d6 damage
[20:54:02] <+DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, taking 2 magic OC for this and using my free OC to do an extra 1d6 damage: 19 [4d6=2,1,3,5]
[20:54:34] <@Oxford> A fine choice, sir. It hits.
[20:54:44] <Elsa> 2d6+4
[20:54:45] <+DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, 2d6+4: 11 [2d6=6,1]
[20:56:50] * Elsa sees an opening and rushes to the bridge, it looks like she's about to crash against it, she slows down and presses her hand against the glass and a burst of fire emerges from the other hand of it, catching everyone inside it and preventing any fresh air or water to get into the brain of the ship.
[20:57:25] <Elsa> The captain sure didn't expect THIS surprise.
[20:59:10] <~Oxford> The command staff panic, leaving their posts and running for the exits only to be met with a wall of Elsa's flames. Yet amidst the chaos, one man stands firm, continuing to bark orders through his thick Northman beard.
[21:01:20] <~Oxford> Yet his orders are heard. With the front turret offline, the vessel starts a slow turn to port, crossing perpendicularly behind the freighter. From amidships, two triple-torpedo tubes rotate onto their unarmored target.
[21:01:44] * Oxford changes topic to 'Cruiser Distance-to-Target: 120m - Freighter HP: 40'
[20:36:59] <Flaurentine> 4d6+5+2+2 let's get our firebitch inside first
[20:36:59] <+DiceMaid-9001> Flaurentine, let's get our firebitch inside first: 27 [4d6=5,5,2,6]
[20:37:07] <Flaurentine> 1d6 Yeah NOW you give me worthwhile shit
[20:37:08] <+DiceMaid-9001> Flaurentine, Yeah NOW you give me worthwhile shit: 6 [1d6=6]
[20:37:13] <Flaurentine> 1d6 and NOW you give me 7 OC
[20:37:14] <+DiceMaid-9001> Flaurentine, and NOW you give me 7 OC: 2 [1d6=2]
[21:07:53] <Flaurentine> "The explosion's coming from… there! Hold position, Jester! I apologize for the wait. One… two…" With a deep breath and a "Three!" sonokinetic waves emerge from Flauri's position by the freighter, sending Elsa into the best possible location for blowing shit up inside.
[21:08:41] * Elsa brings her hands together right as she's inside, "Alright! Time to do some damage."
[21:08:57] * Joslyn takes a quick look around so assess what can be done to help the situation.
[21:11:16] <~Oxford> The torpedo tubes seem to be the most immediate threat to the freighter - a single torpedo hit could easily send her to the bottom. However, the ship's manuevering has brought a fresh set of AA guns into their arcs: Joslyn sees the imposing silhouettes of the infamous 88mm Flak cannon. Three of them.
[21:13:06] <Joslyn> Flak cannons? she isn't afriad of stupid flak cannons. time to shoot up the torpedo tubes.
[21:13:13] <Joslyn> 3d6+10
[21:13:13] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 3d6+10: 23 [3d6=6,1,6]
[21:13:16] <Joslyn> 2d6
[21:13:17] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 2d6: 4 [2d6=1,3]
[21:14:15] <Joslyn> 1d6+6
[21:14:16] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 1d6+6: 9 [1d6=3]
[21:16:40] <Joslyn> "Heads up girls, enemy ship is bringing out flak guns! keep your heads on a swivel!" Meanwhile, time to start keeping those torpedoes from launching!
[21:17:14] <~Oxford> Her missiles strike dead on-target. The first explodes just behind the operator's station, throwing him and one of his loaders overboard. The second blows up immediately next to the tubes, damaging the top two beyond repair.
[21:21:15] <~Oxford> Meanwhile, Elsa finds herself in the cramped confines of some sort of storage locker. It takes her a moment to get her bearings, but she quickly recognizes a loading elevator and three crewmen at one end of the room. Behind her, she turns to find row upon row of powder charges, stacked to the ceiling. She's inside the ammunition magazine.
[21:24:50] * Elsa quickly looks around and makes a fireball in her hands…she slowly pushes it in the direction of the gunpowder storage and then sets off to look for any other…highly explodable or exploitable targets.
[21:27:19] <Elsa> 2d6+9 though this shouldn't really count as combat but oh well
[21:27:20] <+DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, though this shouldn't really count as combat but oh well: 14 [2d6=4,1]
[21:28:36] <Elsa> Its a large fireball
[21:30:46] <~Oxford> The loaders give a start when they see her approach, and then scream as the notice the fireball. Professional sailors, they know the dangers of fire aboard a ship - especially in this room. They flee through the doorway as Elsa walks toward them, backlit by a solid wall of burning powder. Then the whole room explodes.
[21:31:50] * Elsa keeps walking calmly…more like wandering aimlessly, if she sees anyone, she's gonna drill him for information.
[21:34:35] <~Oxford> From above the ship, out in the rain, the other three girls see a tremendous explosion shoot like a pillar of fire through the second main battery. The blast lifts the three-gun turret straight off its mounting and tosses it into the sea like a plaything, while the vessel itself barely manages to avoid breaking clean in two.
[21:37:30] * Aerendis notices the Captain of the vessel. Her grip on the pistol tightens as she mutter something to herself in her native tongue. Along the lines of "Officers are worth double rations…". With that, she runs closer, firing her pistol all the while.
[21:38:15] <Aerendis> 3d6+4
[21:38:15] <+DiceMaid-9001> Aerendis, 3d6+4: 12 [3d6=2,5,1]
[21:38:28] <Aerendis> 1d6
[21:38:29] <+DiceMaid-9001> Aerendis, 1d6: 6 [1d6=6]
[21:38:34] <Aerendis> 1d6
[21:38:35] <+DiceMaid-9001> Aerendis, 1d6: 3 [1d6=3]
[21:42:34] <@Oxford> 4#1d6+6
[21:42:35] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, 4#1d6+6: 12 [1d6=6], 9 [1d6=3], 9 [1d6=3], 10 [1d6=4]
[21:42:42] <@Oxford> 1d6
[21:42:42] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, 1d6: 6 [1d6=6]
[21:42:51] <@Oxford> 1d6
[21:42:52] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, 1d6: 4 [1d6=4]
[21:43:01] <@Oxford> !!
[21:43:07] <@Oxford> The Captain survives.
[21:46:03] <~Oxford> There seem to be about three other officers who've managed to keep their calm. Aerendis' assault changes that, as they're struck again and again by well-placed shots from her pistol. Their bodies drop like ragdolls, the last man throwing himself in front of the Captain to catch a bullet meant for him. Aerendis stands face to face with the man as her pistol clicks empty. He stares at her for a moment, then turns and flees into the s
[21:46:03] <~Oxford> hip.
[21:48:35] * Aerendis reloads and says in a growling, spiteful voice: "Running won't keep me from collecting your decorations, coward."
[21:50:07] <Caitlin> 3d6+9-3 Torpedo, Torpedo, Radio Tower
[21:50:08] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, Torpedo, Torpedo, Radio Tower: 17 [3d6=5,3,3]
[21:53:24] <Caitlin> 1d6+2 up in dis shit
[21:53:25] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, up in dis shit: 7 [1d6=5]
[21:53:48] <@Oxford> both torps are destroyed, radio tower is still up.
[21:55:12] <Caitlin> Caitlin backs off and drops towards the waters below, dipping her oversized quill pen into the liquid as though it were an inkwell before using the very ocean as paper to write Hurricane , sending a whirling aqua tornado at the ship, shredding apart both torpedo tubes and buffeting the radio tower.
[21:56:05] <~Oxford> The torpedo tubes are totally inoperable, as the tornado rips them apart. The radio tower leans at a crazy angle, but stays attached and may well be operating still.
[21:56:14] <Flaurentine> "This… is awfully hectic. Is everybody alright?" Flauri stares at the sight from afar and speaks on the radio again, wincing at every explosion. Of course, she's listening most intently for attacks on the cruiser. With a few claps her headset becomes adorned with a metallic ribbon that actually accents it pretty nicely- too bad nobody's watching her. "Ah… there we are. Now I can hear it… um… let's see, what should I do next…"
[21:57:10] <Joslyn> "I'm fine. Flauri, see if you can find any giant guns. If you do, get rid of them, okay?"
[21:57:41] <Flaurentine> "Disarm the vessel… understood! I'll listen the best I can!"
[21:57:47] <Caitlin> "I'm holding up fine, looking to disable this radio tower."
[21:58:38] <~Oxford> The cruiser, however, is still very much a fighting warship. And now that they're not blocked by the bridge, the flak cannons have a clear shot at anyone still airborne above the ship.
[22:01:12] <@Oxford> 4d6+6, 8d6 keeping two, at Jos/Cait
[22:01:13] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, 8d6 keeping two, at Jos/Cait: 24 [4d6=2,6,6,4]
[22:01:26] <@Oxford> oh well, 24 at Jos.
[22:01:33] <@Oxford> 8d6 keep 4 I meant.
[22:01:34] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, keep 4 I meant.: 21 [8d6=2,1,3,5,1,4,4,1]
[22:02:12] <@Oxford> 24 at Jos, 22 at Caitlin.
[22:02:19] <@Oxford> Trust me, I got this.
[22:02:41] <Joslyn> 5d6+4 like so
[22:02:41] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, like so: 30 [5d6=5,6,5,4,6]
[22:02:50] <Joslyn> 2d6 okay that's enough dicemaid
[22:02:51] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, okay that's enough dicemaid: 10 [2d6=6,4]
[22:02:59] <Joslyn> 1d6 dammit
[22:03:00] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, dammit: 6 [1d6=6]
[22:03:05] <Joslyn> 1d6 what the hell
[22:03:06] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, what the hell: 3 [1d6=3]
[22:04:30] <Caitlin> 4d6+6 anyway defense is pretty cool and stuff
[22:04:31] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, anyway defense is pretty cool and stuff: 22 [4d6=4,3,6,3]
[22:04:44] <Caitlin> 1d6 no whammy
[22:04:45] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, no whammy: 1 [1d6=1]
[22:06:47] <Caitlin> Caitlin simply writes a line pointing to herself; the miniature hurricane she summoned harmlessly centers around her, deflecting the assault.
[22:07:24] * Joslyn just stands there with a glint in her eyes as the flak shots explode all around without even phasing the girl.
[22:08:45] <~Oxford> Proximity-detonator fused flak shells burst as they zip past the girls, but their defenses hold. The crews below hurriedly reload and continue tracking, still keeping their composure.
[22:10:29] * Oxford changes topic to 'Cruiser Distance-to-Target: 150m - Freighter HP: 40'
[22:10:36] <@Oxford> ARRAYS
[22:10:36] <Aerendis> 9/5/3
[22:10:40] <Flaurentine> 5/4/8
[22:10:58] <Joslyn> 10/6/3 4/0/0 OC now
[22:11:07] <Flaurentine> 7/0/0 for OC reminder, yeah
[22:11:23] <Caitlin> 963
[22:11:45] <Elsa> 9/8(or whatver Flauri changed it to)/3
[22:11:53] <Flaurentine> I took Joslyn's instead
[22:13:18] <Caitlin> "Please don't behave recklessly; this situation isn't far from neutralization!"
[22:15:01] <Flaurentine> But yeah, porting any weapons systems that may target allies off
[22:15:07] <Flaurentine> with sorcery of course
[22:15:58] <Flaurentine> 2d6+8 I'll make this and we'll see what can be done with it
[22:15:59] <+DiceMaid-9001> Flaurentine, I'll make this and we'll see what can be done with it: 10 [2d6=1,1]
[22:16:07] <Flaurentine> Absolutely nothing, move onto everyone else's turns.
[22:17:40] <@Oxford> Yeah, sorry to say. Looks like large-scale porting still can't be done remotely.
[22:17:01] <~Oxford> The enemy cruiser is taking on water rapidly, and with its bridge-crew neutralized it continues through its turn, until it is facing directly away from the freighter. At this speed, the freighter will be out of sight behind the rain in short order, but now that its dead-astern, the raider's rear cannon finally has it in arc. The last of the three massive turrets rotates toward the hapless merchant.
[22:19:40] <Joslyn> And it's the turret that Joslyn is going after. Something doens't feel right, but she can wait until later to figure it out.
[22:22:29] <Flaurentine> "… Go!" Clap. "Uh… Move!" Clap. "Warp!" Futile-Flauri floats above the freighter, following it to ascertain its safety, while at the same time trying to target the enemy's weapons systems. "I… um… I don't think it's working! I can stop its weapons if it fires, but stopping it from this far away… ah… I'm very sorry I can't help much…" She gulps while speaking through radio. "I just want to make sure the innocents are safe…"
[22:22:59] <~Oxford> The attack skips off the turret's thick armor plating, barely dinging the heavy plates.
[22:23:58] * Aerendis runs into the ship after the captain, determined to finish him off.
[22:25:11] <~Oxford> Down the hallway, she finds a stairwell and seven or so Novs struggling with a large firehose, but no sign of the captain.
[22:26:08] * Aerendis ignores them if she can. She has a target, and they aren't him.
[22:27:13] <~Oxford> Footsteps on the stairwell give her a hint. Racing down the narrow steps, she finds the Captain at the bottom.
[22:28:43] <~Oxford> He struggles with the hatch, trying to get through, but it won't budge. He falls to the ground, turns to face her, and draws his sidearm.
[22:29:06] * Aerendis doesn't even bother to confirm it. She fires. She's sure one shot will do it, but she keeps pulling the trigger until she's definately sure.
[22:29:09] <Aerendis> 3d6+9
[22:29:10] <+DiceMaid-9001> Aerendis, 3d6+9: 14 [3d6=1,1,3]
[22:30:25] <~Oxford> With the gun pointed levelly at her forehead, he locks eyes and spits a single word: "Albovski." He says it like it's the gravest insult he knows. Her shot finishes him as the word clears his throat.
[22:31:51] <Caitlin> 2d6 1 1
[22:31:52] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, 1 1: 7 [2d6=5,2]
[22:31:59] * Aerendis spits at the corpse in response and quickly kneels down to rip off part of his shirt; wherever his decorations and badges and other marks are located.
[22:34:23] <Aerendis> After taking a moment to realize the situation, Aerendis calms down a bit and simply takes the man's hat before trying to get back to the deck.
[22:35:10] <@Oxford> 2d6 You'll be fine ;_;
[22:35:11] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, You'll be fine: 10 [2d6=4,6]
[22:35:21] <@Oxford> 1d- nah, just kiddin'
[22:35:34] <@Oxford> Take 10, though. I'll fluff you.
[22:37:17] <~Oxford> Back in the stern, Elsa finds herself in pitch blackness as her senses gradually return. A sharp pain in her head and a skull-sized dent in the bulkhead above tell the whole story. She blinks her eyes as vision returns, showing her the half-flooded bowels of the ship and the gaping hole her attack left.
[22:39:05] * Elsa makes her way to some more corridors, gotta find the next ammo dump to dump some flames onto it. If she meets anyone she's going to try her best to get any information out of him.
[22:40:35] <@Oxford> Okay, Elsa can roll Sharp, DC 15 unless you want to specify a direction or something.
[22:41:23] <Elsa> 2d6+6 come on~
[22:41:24] <+DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, come on~: 12 [2d6=4,2]
[22:43:30] * Elsa wanders aimlessly through the inside of the ship…hopefully she will get lucky and hit some jackpot…maybe get some gold while she's…wait thats wrong, god her head hurts.
[22:43:49] <Flaurentine> "Um… calm down, don't act recklessly. Ah… Jester, please respond!" Still hovering over the freighter; there's not much to see from back there except for the explosion, which looks bad enough.
[22:44:29] <Caitlin> 2d6+9
[22:44:30] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, 2d6+9: 17 [2d6=3,5]
[22:44:39] <@Oxford> Hits, roll damage
[22:45:03] <Caitlin> 1d6
[22:45:04] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, 1d6: 4 [1d6=4]
[22:45:37] <@Oxford> Ah, it goes down.
[22:46:35] <Caitlin> The swirling waters protecting Caitlin separate from her again. The hurricane spins faster and swallows the radio tower in a renewed assault.
[22:48:10] <~Oxford> The waves succeed in toppling the skinny tower. It bends overboard and drags for a moment before the motion of the ship tears it free, cables whipping across the deck as they snap one by one.
[22:49:46] <@Oxford> 4d6+6 at Joslyn, don't worry you still get a little pain.
[22:49:46] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, at Joslyn, don't worry you still get a little pain.: 24 [4d6=4,2,6,6]
[22:50:02] <@Oxford> 8d6 and +6 she just gets more
[22:50:02] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, and +6 she just gets more: 21 [8d6=3,1,4,3,3,1,3,3]
[22:50:37] <@Oxford> Actually, once again Jos is worse off. 24 and 19, respectively
[22:50:56] <Joslyn> 4d6+6 okay
[22:50:57] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, okay: 20 [4d6=1,6,2,5]
[22:51:07] <Joslyn> 1d6 no whammys stop!
[22:51:08] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, no whammys stop!: 4 [1d6=4]
[22:51:35] <@Oxford> 1d6 tieburreikka
[22:51:35] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, tieburreikka: 3 [1d6=3]
[22:51:38] <Joslyn> 1d6
[22:51:38] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 1d6: 6 [1d6=6]
[22:52:35] <Caitlin> 2d6+6 anyway suffering etc whatevs
[22:52:36] <+DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, anyway suffering etc whatevs: 10 [2d6=1,3]
[22:52:46] <~Oxford> As it falls, the flak guns once again send their shells skyward, bursting as they approach and sending swarms of shrapnel at Joslyn and Caitlin.
[22:53:51] <@Oxford> 2d4 Taking the hit, then.
[22:53:52] <+DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, Taking the hit, then.: 5 [2d4=3,2]
[22:55:18] <Caitlin> No hurricane to protect her. Her body's smaller than usual, so maybe she's a little harder to hit, but they finally get her. Other than a slightly higher pitched scream than usual and some very superficial cuts, she's fine.
[22:57:24] <~Oxford> The massive rear turret finally has the freighter in its sights, and with a roar it lets loose a barrage of melon-sized shells.
[23:01:21] <Flaurentine> "The weapon's moving at… okay… wind speed… okay! I can't let them be at risk anymore! Change its angle… watch the impact… um…" A bunch of blips and staticy sounds ring out on the radio, before a gulp. "… Sorry, everyone."
[23:06:54] <~Oxford> At the last instant, all three shells disappear - and reappear inches away from Flaurentine's body. Two hundred metres away, all that Joslyn and Caitlin can see is a massive explosion above the freighter where their friend used to be.
[23:08:59] <Caitlin> "F…lauri?" Caitlin immediately takes off towards the explosion, deeply concerned for Flaurentine's continued survival.
[23:09:12] <~Oxford> The warship's last opporutunity is wasted. As it continues to circle helplessly, the frieghter disappears into the driving rain, finally safe from harm. If the girls stay out too much longer, they risk losing it completely.
[23:10:25] <Joslyn> "…Dammit, Elsa, Aer! get out of there!" She doesn't care if they can't hear her, she can't afford to just let them go.
[23:10:27] <Elsa> MEANWHILE Elsa wonders if her radio still works
[23:11:10] <~Oxford> Still nothing on the comms. The ship's metal hull makes it tough to get anything but static.
[23:11:29] <Flaurentine> The comms from above the freighter go silent, too.
[23:12:59] <Joslyn> "…Kate? you still with me?"
[23:14:12] <Caitlin> Her voice has a really distant quality, but she answers after a moment, "…Yes. Have to find her."
[23:14:32] * Aerendis continues to try and get to the deck, having put her pistol away, clinging to the Captain's hat firmly.
[23:14:44] <Joslyn> "Go find her. Let me know when you do. I'll see if I can find the others."
[23:15:32] * Elsa wonders if its broken anyways, she keeps heading to the enxt ammo dump, she's going to blow to last week.
[23:15:33] <~Oxford> Up the stairwell, down the hall, and straight through the gaping hole in the bridge window. Aerendis clears the ship easily enough, and re-emerges into the pouring rain.
[23:16:17] * Aerendis quickly takes flight…before realizing she's not quite sure which way to go. She hops she's flying in the right direction.
[23:16:37] <Joslyn> "Ærendis!" Joslyn calls out as she finally spots the Cimbrian girl "Are you okay?"
[23:17:45] <Caitlin> Caitlin takes off moving as fast as she can in the direction of the freighter where Flauri probably fell. Eyes peeled.
[23:18:23] <Aerendis> "I'm fine." Ærendis says, keeping her words to a minimum as she flies to Joslyn.
[23:19:09] <Joslyn> "Holy crap, what happened down there?"
[23:19:40] <Aerendis> "I killed the Captain. I don't know anything else, no one came down with me."
[23:20:15] <Joslyn> "…" Joslyn just stares. "It…I can't imagine it was easy…"
[23:20:29] <~Oxford> In the depths of the ship, Elsa at last finds her target. The powder room is still dry, but has long since been deserted by its crew. The fire-mage is alone with tonnes upon tonnes of explosives.
[23:20:57] <Aerendis> "It was. A bullet to the head was all it took. Split second trigger pull time. He wasn't spry."
[23:21:16] <Joslyn> "…If…if you need some time to get over it…"
[23:21:51] <Aerendis> "I'm sure he deserved it" Ærendis says, before wiping the rain out of her eye. "Which way to the Freighter?"
[23:22:05] * Elsa tosses another slow-moving fireball into the powder mix and THIS TIME, she runs the hell away from the explosion. She might be dumb but smart enough to not repeat her (obvious)mistakes.
[23:22:48] <Joslyn> "That way…still waiting on Elsa, though. We're gonna have to move fast in order to not lose it."
[23:23:58] <Aerendis> "Well, I shot everyone on the forward deck, every officer I saw, and then sacked the Captain. I'm sure that's enough for now, right? I'll see you back on the ship." Ærendis says, before taking off towards the Freighter.
[23:24:46] * Elsa runs away from the impending teeth-shattering explosion.
[23:24:51] <~Oxford> A titanic explosion answers her question succinctly. The third and final turret is shredded to pieces, and moments later Elsa comes into view, zipping along low to the water. The cruiser goes down rapidly, prow rising into the air like a monument to its own destruction.
[23:25:35] <Joslyn> "Hey Jester! having fun down there?" Joslyn's voice isn't that humorous, but she doesn't sound pissed either.
[23:26:18] <Elsa> "Well, that was fun." She tries to reach around for her radio, "I think its broken, I got nothing inside the ship."
[23:27:10] <Caitlin> "Flauri! Flauri? Can you hear me?"
[23:28:01] <Joslyn> "Actually it…you know what? never mind. let's get back to the freighter."
[23:29:11] * Elsa hears the Caitlin, yelling in the radio, "Wait what, wasn't it broken? What happened to Flauri?" She says following Joslyn
[23:29:46] <~Oxford> Caitlin reaches the freighter at last to find a heart-wrenching sight. The entire foredeck of the freighter is burned black, and directly in the center lies Flaurentine's motionless form, cradled in the arms of Major Donalds. She's back in the tattered remains of her school uniform, and makes no response as the big man desperately tries to administer first aid.
[23:32:19] <Caitlin> "I'm looking for her! I think she was in the m-foundherontheforedeckpleasecomehelp!" Caitlin swallows huge breaths to try calming herself and approaches as fast as she can, "M-Major! She's not… Is she? W-what if I tried to use my magic? It isn't too late, r-right?" She's already struggling to fight back tears, but has an idea as long as she's still alive.
[23:32:55] <Joslyn> "Gotcha Kate! we're double-timing it to your location." And Joslyn picks up the pace.
[23:34:45] * Elsa follows quickly behind her and quickly overtakes the iron maiden, she quickly lands at the edge of the freighter and detransforms into her (now unbuttoned) jacket and running towards Flauri, "How is she?" she practically yells out the question
[23:35:06] <~Oxford> The Major doesn't respond to Caitlin in the least. He's preoccupied with checking the tiny girl's vitals and doing his best to resuscitate her. He moves almost mechanically. Tears stream down his face, but he seems not to notice.
[23:36:11] <~Oxford> "Not another one. Damnit, not /her/…"
[23:36:45] <Joslyn> 1d6+5 healing
[23:36:46] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, healing: 7 [1d6=2]
[23:37:32] <Joslyn> "Major! Let me try!" Joslyn grabs Flauri's hand and focuses as hard as she can, trying to at least restore the girl's heartbeat if nothign else.
[23:37:53] <Caitlin> Caitlin takes a step closer and half raises her quill pen; she hesitates, afraid of interfering and making things worse for a moment before deciding that to not act and watch her die would be the worst. There's no hospital here, it's magic or limited first aid. With that in mind, Caitlin steps forward and puts her pen to Flauri's arm.
[23:38:43] <Caitlin> "…We can heal her, right?"
[23:39:04] * Aerendis manages to land near the scene. She watches, but doesn't react much. She has no idea if she can help, and honestly, she's used to this sort of thing. Been there, done that. Still, Flaurentine seemed like a nice girl and she was looking forward to having her help her integrate into her new school, so she continues to watch in anticipation.
[23:39:53] <@Oxford> Or try the healing again as a Combo Atta-er, Heal.
[23:40:02] <Elsa> can my buff to damage help their healing?
[23:40:30] <@Oxford> WORTH A SHOT!
[23:41:08] <@Oxford> I'm saying mechanically it could be like a combo attack, but on a sorcery check using Jos' heal effect. Something like that.
[23:41:26] <Caitlin> Can I sorcery up a juryrigged heal?
[23:42:01] <@Oxford> You can certainly try!
[23:42:34] <@Oxford> Or I'll give Jos +1d6 healing per point of OC that anyone will donate to her efforts.
[23:42:41] <Elsa> 2d6+8 sorcery
[23:42:41] <+DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, sorcery: 15 [2d6=4,3]
[23:42:46] <Elsa> sucess
[23:42:53] <Elsa> and I give her 3 points!
[23:42:55] <Elsa> of heart!
[23:42:56] <Caitlin> Okay
[23:43:06] <Caitlin> I'll pass 3 points of heart over, too
[23:43:08] <@Oxford> Okay!
[23:40:06] <Joslyn> As joslyn puts her soul into the healing magic, steel streams start to form and wrap around Flauri. Joslyn's magic flows through the metal and into the wounded girl, focusing on the things she can't live without first, before trying to work on everything else.
[23:42:25] * Elsa sits there looking helpless…when she suddenly gets an idea! She walks up to behind Joslyn and puts her hands on her shoulders, "Theres something that I can do to help…even if I can't heal her!" And she pours magic into Joslyn powering her up! (slightly)
[23:43:33] <Joslyn> 6d6 extra heals
[23:43:33] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, extra heals: 20 [6d6=2,5,6,3,1,3]
[23:44:01] <@Oxford> Er, plus your own however-many, Jos.
[23:44:39] <Joslyn> I'll just do 2, putting my OC at 5m3f2h
[23:44:48] <Joslyn> 2d6
[23:44:48] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 2d6: 8 [2d6=3,5]
[23:45:03] <Joslyn> 1d0+28+7+18
[23:45:03] <+DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 1d0+28+7+18: 53 [1d0=0]
[23:45:23] <@Oxford> ! She's alive!
[23:44:23] * Elsa pours more magic and Joslyn can feel Elsa's burning passion for wanting to save her friend!
[23:45:20] <Caitlin> …Second thought. Caitlin pulls her arm back; she's managed to fumble out healing before, but she's not an expert, and Joslyn has a better idea of what she's doing. So, Caitlin instead writes on Joslyn's arm, trying to be gentle. The letters say "Please save her," and imbue Joslyn with a chunk of Caitlin's power.
[23:47:37] * Joslyn focuses, drawing on her friends' power. "Dammit Flauri, I'm not gonna let you die like this!" forcing her entire body, Joslyn breaks through and looses waves of magic into the teleporter magician, steely energy mending bones and restarting her heart in a split second.
[23:48:04] <~Oxford> As their combined powers flow through her, Joslyn sees a faint flicker of Flaurentine's eyelashes. She gives it one last push, and the little girl's chest begins to move raggedly up and down. Within moments, her eyes slowly open.
[23:49:36] <Joslyn> Upon seeing Flauri's eyes open, Joslyn smiles before collapsing. she's still conscious, but very obviously drained.
[23:50:28] <Flaurentine> They open and find themselves closing quickly as her whole body cringes, slow breating testing her ability to function at all. Her still-pulled-back hair drapes to the ground in futility as she proves unable to move herself at all, besides parting her lips slightly. "Oh… you're all… okay…"
[23:50:56] * Elsa drops to the ground in relief.
[23:51:06] <~Oxford> "F-Flauri!" gasps the Major, rushing to her side. He casts a grateful glance to the girls gathered around her before gently scooping her into his arms.
[23:51:59] <Flaurentine> Her eyes close as she gives a tiny, pained smile. "I'm… glad…"
[23:52:17] <Caitlin> Caitlin starts full on bawwwwwling, complete with waterworks. She definitely looks the part for her accidental new age quite well at the moment. "F-F-Fllllauuuuriiii I-I th-thought y-y…you w-were g-going to…" Sob, sob, sob. Crybaby can't articulate very well right now, but she's really happy inside..
[23:52:39] <Joslyn> "Flauri?"
[23:53:42] * Flaurentine closes her eyes again after the last utterance and goes back to breathing lightly.
[23:54:10] <Joslyn> "…Don't ever do that again. That's an order, okay?"
[23:55:15] <Flaurentine> Huff. Huff. Huff. Another cringe happens, before she lurches forward and coughs violently a couple times, splashing a small pool of red onto her outfit. "… Yes, ma'am."
[23:55:48] <Aerendis> "…Hm…That sure is useful. You can save people from dying?" Ærendis asks, surprised that the tradgedy has turned itself around.
[23:56:41] <Caitlin> Caitlin tearfully nods to Ærendis. She's trying to shut up, but it ends up with her just making whimpering sounds.
[23:57:24] <Joslyn> "Magic. Now, do you mind if we wait until tomorrow for more questioning? I'm wet, tired, and just saved a girl's life. Need some sleep."
[23:57:39] * Elsa lays on her back, thank god that is finally over.
[23:58:34] <Joslyn> "…oh yeah. Ærendis? I'm gonna need the pendant back. Same for you two."
[23:59:52] * Flaurentine tries to move an arm but it doesn't go very far. She tries to mouth an apology, too, but decides on silence being the better option at the last second.
[00:00:28] <Caitlin> With shaky hands, Caitlin collects Flauri's and hands it over to Joslyn along with her own.
[00:01:00] * Aerendis shrugs and holds out the pendant back to Joslyn. "I guess I don't have any reason to keep it." Ærendis says in a vaugely noticeable sour tone.
[00:01:47] <Joslyn> "It's not my call to make, sorry."
[00:02:30] <~Oxford> Caitlin tries, but the focus pendant is nowhere to be found. After a moment of searching among the ashes, she notices several shards of crystal that look suspiciously like the remains of a pendant core.
[00:03:29] <Caitlin> "J-Joslyn, I-I… ah, think her pendant…" Sniffle, "Broke?"
[00:03:57] <Joslyn> "…oh dear. Westfield's not gonna be happy…"
[00:04:39] <Flaurentine> COUGH COUGH HACK. "Sor… ry…"
[00:05:11] <Caitlin> Caitlin looks down at her definitely-not-15 body and nods in agreement. Deeeep breath. "P-please rest."
[00:07:36] <~Oxford> The rain continues to pour down, but it seems different - warmer - knowing their friend is out of danger. After a short while, the girls and the officer make their way inside. The freighter continues onward, towards home. On the scorched deck of the freighter, all that remains are ashes, and the sparkling remains of Flaurentine's shattered focus pendant.
[00:07:40] <~Oxford> /session
[19:13:08] * Oxford changes topic to 'Always think before you act - but always think of your Country before Yourself.'
[19:17:00] <~Oxford> At long last, the girls have made it back to St. Cheswhick's. Maj. Westfield had to borrow a small truck to cart everyone back in from port, meaning everyone but Flaurentine had a very bumpy ride. The small girl seems to be in no immediate danger, but is still in quite poor condition.
[19:18:22] * Joslyn has been checking on her every so often. She's drained, but she prefers it to what could have happened. Though the pendant problem is going to be much more difficult to manage.
[19:18:28] <Flaurentine> And even then, she continued to smile along the way even when she drifted out of consciousness, perfectly content that her incredibly dumb act had spared the lives of innocents. That, unfortunately, didn't make her any more able to move or speak.
[19:19:32] <Caitlin> Caitlin's spent the meantime doing her best to play bed (backseat?) side nurse, even if there's probably not much she's been able to actually do to help.
[19:20:00] * Elsa sighs, glad to be able to be in dry land again, she might need to tell Westfield about her little…problem though.
[19:22:14] <~Oxford> After returning to their rooms and stowing their flight gear, a visit to Flaurentine's hospital bedside has turned into an impromptu meeting, as both majors and the other four girls happen to show up at the same time. Westfield shoos the school nurse from the infirmary and closes the door, intent on debriefing despite the difficulty of their situation.
[19:23:09] <Joslyn> "…I'm sorry, sir. We…well, we did everything we could."
[19:23:30] <Flaurentine> Presuming they showed up at a time WHILE the littlest - probably still - was awake, a weak salute raises to her head before flopping down. But if they didn't it… well… doesn't.
[19:23:56] * Elsa looks around nervously, yeah not the best place to hold a meeting.
[19:25:02] <~Oxford> Donalds murmurs something to the injured girl about conserving her strength, seated close to Flaurentine's bedside. He leaves it to his younger counterpart to conduct the meeting.
[19:25:19] <Caitlin> Caitlin shuffles her feet a little bit in awkward silence.
[19:26:39] <~Oxford> "Please forgive the accommodations," he begins at last, after clearing his throat and confirming that they have the room to themselves. "I'm sorry for the circumstances, but I need a full report on what happened out there tonight."
[19:28:04] * Flaurentine winces but only gives a slow nod. Getting shot with shells as big as that kind of does hurt like a bitch, so as much as little Flauri would like to argue she really can't. She still weakly opens her eyes and listens with a small cough as an interruption every now and then.
[19:28:29] <Joslyn> "Y-yes sir. Upon reaching the ship, the three of us located Warrent Flamenca, as well as this girl, Ærendis Hoosgaard." Joslyn likely butchered her last name terrible but continues. "After discussing some things with Major Donalds, we discovered the presence of a novgaardi raiding ship, which we promptly sunk."
[19:29:22] * Aerendis grumbles noticibly loudly at Joslyn's mispronounciation.
[19:29:26] * Elsa feels a pit in her stomach as if falling, oh crap why now? "Well, lets just say it wasn't completely uneventful." She glances at Caitlin and grabs her shirt and pushes herself slightly down.
[19:31:35] <Caitlin> Floating away again? Caitlin steps a little closer to let Elsa use her as an anchor to earth. It'd probably work better if Caitlin were her old size, but it should work either way. She's hesitant to broach the subject of the deaging, though.
[19:32:11] <~Oxford> "I'm afraid you'll have to do better than that, Lieutenant. At what point was Ms. Hoosgaard given access to a Focus Pendant, and under whose authority? Secondly, while the sinking of an enemy ship - we've identified it as the light cruiser GFN Kalinnin - is laudable, I'm wondering when Warrant Flamenca sustained these injuries. Likewise," and this last gets a particularly severe frown, "at what point was her Focus Pendant destroyed
[19:32:11] <~Oxford> ?"
[19:33:39] * Elsa gulps, looking over at Flauri, yeah she's unsure what to say and doesn't want to get flauri in to trouble, knowing the girl
[19:33:39] <Flaurentine> She gives a frown in return, slowly inching up on the bed. "I… I'll explain, Sir." At least that's all that comes out before a loud coughing fit that leads to a nice pool of blood in her hand, which is stared at for a few moments in slight disappointment. She isn't able to keep her sitting position for more than a few seconds before falling back down with an obligatory POMF.
[19:33:46] <Joslyn> "She was given the pendant with Major Donald's authorization after a routine questioning of her background. Warrent Flamenca's injuries came as she…redirected a salvo of cannon fire bound for the freighter."
[19:33:52] <Joslyn> "That's also when the pendant…"
[19:34:49] <Flaurentine> "I… couldn't risk the… safety of those innocents, Sir." COUGH HACK WHEEZE COUGH COUGH. "I… apologize."
[19:36:44] <~Oxford> Donalds carefully dabs up the blood with a handkerchief and gives his comrade a frown. "Luke, I gave you my report…"
[19:38:00] <Joslyn> "I…I know it was probably reckless of me to not order Ærendis to stay put…but given the circumstances, and her military experience, I made a judgment call."
[19:39:22] * Joslyn seems really worried about now. Almost scared.
[19:39:50] <~Oxford> Westfield hesitates a bit at the implied criticism from his fellow CO, but stands firm. "It WAS reckless. Extremely so. Not just a citizen, but a foreigner - no offense, Ms. Højgaard, but that's how it is."
[19:41:29] <Caitlin> Caitlin shrinks back a little bit, but speaks up, "Sir, the encounter was very close, without Miss Ærendis's help we may not have succeeded…"
[19:41:48] <Joslyn> "Y-yes sir. We…there just wasn't time to get any more help, and she had the ability to help. Since she was transferring in to Bruinham within short order…"
[19:42:00] <Elsa> "Well, it did work out in the end, right? Though it was eally close." She says using the smaller girl as leverage to not go flying off.
[19:42:08] <Joslyn> Joslyn's voice trails off as she stares at the ground. "It won't happen again, Sir."
[19:42:11] * Aerendis sighs loudly. "Excuse me,Major-"Ærendis says the last word icily. "But I am a trained soldier, and for your information, I killed 20 enemy soldiers on that vessel. Still unconfirmed, of course, but I trust my own judgement. And…" she continues, pulling a hat out from her pack and tossing it at Westfield. "I killed the Captain, as well."
[19:42:51] <Aerendis> "A few of the other officers as well, but…I'm sure they don't matter quite as much."
[19:44:39] <~Oxford> Westfield turns to the Cimbrian girl and reaches out a hand. "May I?" he asks, referring to the hat.
[19:45:23] <Aerendis> She hands the hat to Westfield. "In summary, I think it would have been reckless not to send me."
[19:47:24] <~Oxford> He inspects the hat admiringly, returning it with a curt nod. "Perhaps. In this case, we lucked out - Ms. Højgaard was, indeed, being transferred to Bruinham's in order to be recruited into Maj. Donald's flight."
[19:48:02] <Elsa> "We had some…uh…complications before the ship showed up too. The magic kind." SHe tries to say offhandedly but she just ends up sounding incredibly nervous.
[19:48:11] * Flaurentine smiles and attempts to sit up before breaking into another coughing fit, forcing the poor girl to reluctantly go back to lying down.
[19:49:42] <Caitlin> "…Complications. Mine hasn't worn off."
[19:50:13] <Joslyn> "…I have reason to beleive that it will eventually, though." Joslyn adds hopefully.
[19:50:21] <~Oxford> "Complications?" He frowns, then gives Caitlin a subtle double-take. "Give me a full report, naturally. But first of all: I can't continue this conversation with a civilian present, which means there's a speech I need to give."
[19:51:40] * Elsa considers letting go of Caitlin for a moment but decides otherwise.
[19:52:15] * Joslyn nods while covertly attaching the Lieutenant's rank bars to her uniform.
[19:52:23] <Caitlin> Caitlin's got a grip on Elsa either way. It'd be better to avoid risking her floating up and cracking her skull open or something.
[19:52:40] <~Oxford> "Ms. Højgaard, as an immigrant to these lands, can you swear to protect them as diligently as you would your own homeland?"
[19:52:41] <Flaurentine> And even if she did she could just be teleported back down and- … oh, right.
[19:54:29] * Elsa will only float up hard if she pushes off something, she's just weightless right now essentially, even flauri in her current stat could easily lift her.
[19:56:03] <Aerendis> "As diligently as my own lands? Yes. I should think that I would."
[19:57:58] <~Oxford> He nods, his face grave. "And do you wish to serve your adopted homeland, her Empire, and her people, in whatever way you are able?"
[19:59:47] * Aerendis smiles weakly. "Of course. A place so generous as to take me in deserves protecting."
[20:00:58] <~Oxford> He nods again. "Then repeat after me: I, your name, do solemnly swear to uphold the sovereign laws of the Empire of Albaea, until I am no longer able to fulfill these duties, and will serve faithfully and without blemish, as a member of the Imperial Albaean Air Force."
[20:05:17] * Aerendis nods. "I, your nam-…Ærendis Højgaard, do solemnly swear to uphold the sovereign laws of the Empire of Albaea, until I am no longer able to fulfill these duties, and will serve faithfully and without blemish, as a member of the Imperial Albaean Air Force."
[20:08:17] <~Oxford> Westfield breathes a small sigh of relief and smiles faintly. "Very good, then. If you'd just sign this," he adds, holding out a piece of paper covered with some very formal writing, "I can officially welcome you to the IAAF as Provisional Warrant Officer 2nd Class Højgaard."
[20:10:23] <Joslyn> "It's nice to have you officially part of the team, Ærendis."
[20:10:40] <Caitlin> "Ah, congratulations!"
[20:11:46] <Aerendis> "I'm glad you think so, Lieutenant." says Ærendis. She takes the paper, and signs it as quickly as she can.
[20:11:47] <Flaurentine> "I-I hope we can be…" COUGH COUGH WHEEZE HACK.
[20:14:31] <~Oxford> Westfield makes the paper disappear into his briefcase and produces the same identification as he issued the other girls. "Excellent. As I mentioned, you're being assigned to Bruinham Flight. Maj. Donalds - you've already met him, it seems - will be your commanding officer, and Warrant Flamenca there is in the same unit. You've already gotten a taste of what we do here, of course."
[20:14:57] <Joslyn> "Hey, don't be like that! We're a team, right?" Joslyn puts an arm over Ærendis' shoulder.
[20:15:28] * Aerendis tries to shrug the arm off. "Yes, that's true."
[20:15:53] <Flaurentine> A good deal of heavy breathing later, little Flauri manages to weakly push herself into a half-assed sitting position with a smile. "… Let's be friends."
[20:17:26] * Joslyn sighs and lets go of the Cimbrian girl. "Anyway. Now that there aren't any civilians…I'm sure Caitlin's problem needs no explanation other than what you can see. I'm hoping that it'll get better within a week or two…"
[20:17:33] * Elsa looks relieved, "Flauri, take it easy for a while. Now, Major, how about we try to figure out how to deal with me and Cait's problems."
[20:18:14] * Aerendis nods and smiles at Flaurentine. "Yes. That sounds good."
[20:18:20] <~Oxford> "Alright. Caitlin first: you seem to have shrunk?" he asks, raising an eyebrow.
[20:19:05] * Flaurentine keeps cheery, even with a minor giggle at 'shrunk' of all words being used by a superior officer. It's funnier than it should be in context, but her voice is kept down.
[20:19:21] <Caitlin> "My apologies, Mister Westfield. I didn't mean to do this, but… I think I look like I would in a picture of me from a few years ago."
[20:19:42] <Elsa> "The way she got that way was very disturbing by the way."
[20:22:20] <~Oxford> "Well…" Westfield scratches his chin a bit and leans over to inspect Caitlin from various angles. "You still mostly look like yourself. I think our best option is to try and play it off as normal for the rest of the semester. We can deal with next year over Winter Break - maybe transfer you to a younger class."
[20:23:32] <Caitlin> Caitlin weakly protests, "B-but… My studies, Sir… My parents would be so disappointed if I were 'held back.'"
[20:23:38] <Elsa> "I on the other hand." She lets go of Caitlin and pushes herself slightly backwards, bumping on the back wall a few feet off the ground. "This, and I can't control when it happens…umm Jos mind pulling me down?"
[20:24:06] <Flaurentine> "Ah… um… m-may"COUGH COUGH HACK. Whatever's trying to be said won't get out. Poor Flauri just hangs her head down and returns to silence.
[20:24:49] * Joslyn does so. "So…there's that. Assuming that Cait's issue isn't permanent, which I don't think it is…then it ought to solve itself. Elsa…I'm not as sure."
[20:25:28] <~Oxford> "We could also see about getting you some- Warrant Elsa! Get down from there." Westfield aims a stern glance at the girl. "Are you having trouble controlling your powers again, Warrant?"
[20:26:13] <Elsa> "No its not that! It feels like I'm constantly falling down or diving when I'm like this."
[20:27:18] <Elsa> "I even have a hard time flying when I'm like this."
[20:28:40] <~Oxford> "Hm…weightlessness? You say this condition comes and goes?" He lets out another faint sigh.
[20:30:04] <Elsa> "Thats what it is? Yeah, It happened when I arrived on the ship, had to hold on the handrail so I didn't drigt off."
[20:30:05] <Caitlin> "Excuse me, but… Some what, sir?"
[20:31:51] <~Oxford> "Er, some platform shoes," he says, distractedly. "So you're not so… Elsa, can you hold yourself down when it's happening? Hide the symptoms?"
[20:32:48] <Flaurentine> "…" Flauri opens her mouth to speak some more, obviously something regarding teleporting, but shoots her eyes downward with a distressed glance and slowly POMFs back onto the pillow in disappointment.
[20:33:01] <Joslyn> "To be fair, that might be the best way to go about this." It's at this time Joslyn conveniently pulls a few shell casings off of her uniform.
[20:35:10] <Caitlin> Caitlin shrinks back even more and her voice quiets further, "S-Sir, I would rather not wear those if possible…"
[20:35:41] <Elsa> "Yeah, I can hold myself down, but I don't know when its coming until its too late."
[20:37:28] <~Oxford> "Well, you're free to find your own solution, Caitlin. But remember that your current appearence jeopardizes operational security. Ah, Højgaard, that's important to remember: this unit is secret; don't do anything to draw attention to it."
[20:37:52] * Elsa coughs nervously.
[20:40:59] * Aerendis nods. "That makes sense"
[20:41:16] <~Oxford> "As I'm sure the attack on several academies has indicated, we suspect the Novgoraadi have some awareness of our current force distribution. We're taking steps to address these concerns; security has been increased for the time being, so please bear with us through the transition."
[20:42:49] <Flaurentine> "S… Sir…" Flauri's detemination alone muffles her coughing to tolerable degrees. "I… never got the chance to ask; is… everybody at Bruinham's… all right? There weren't…" Here comes another coughing fit, but for conversational purposes it's essentially just a long pause until she can compose herself. "… Lasting damages, were there?"
[20:44:28] <Joslyn> "…oh, right. That reminds me…" Joslyn sighs. "How long would it be before replacment pendants can be made? With only three pendants and five of us…"
[20:45:10] <~Oxford> "Lasting…? Ah." The Major clasps his hands behind his back and adopts a regretful tone. "I'm sorry to say, but there were several casualties before Warrant Elsa and I could neutralize the strike team. Bruinham's will be suspending classes after the end of the semester."
[20:46:05] <Flaurentine> "I… I see." Eyes almost teary she turns to the other side to face what's presumably a window. "Thank you… Sir. And… I apologize." Cough cough cough cough.
[20:46:48] <Elsa> "Sorry, we did the best thing we could at the time."
[20:48:53] <Flaurentine> "N-No, I'm… thankful you were there at all. I just wish I could've been more…" There goes another fit. She faces the other direction in embarrassment now moreso than anything else.
[20:49:05] <~Oxford> "About the pendants… I have good news and bad. The good news is that we have enough excess pendants to provide two more for Flamenca and Højgaard. Due to casualties in other units, you see." He frowns and takes a deep breath.
[20:49:30] <Caitlin> "…I'm sorry to hear that Sir, on both accounts."
[20:51:15] * Flaurentine doesn't give the excited reaction one would expect, instead only cringing in her bed. Shedding tears for the lost? Who knows, unless somebody wants to go through the trouble of leaning all the way over to look at her face, which would just be creepy. Either way she's silent about whatever it is.
[20:51:41] * Elsa falls silent, damn, it could have been us too.
[20:52:45] <Joslyn> "…Thank you, sir." Joslyn's voice is flat, as the knowledge of how they have extra pendants is something she'd have been fine not knowing.
[20:54:07] <~Oxford> "The bad news is that manufacturing a replacement pendant will take the better part of a year. The proccesses used are still in their infancy; each one is the investment of several thousand man-hours from our very best scientists. They don't grow on trees."
[20:54:40] * Aerendis nods. "It's good to know that they are reusable. It'd be a shame to have a weapon that becomes useless when the wearer dies."
[20:55:55] <~Oxford> He nods grimly. "Still, losing one of them, even to destroy a cruiser… in a purely economic sense, we can't win the war this way."
[20:56:09] * Elsa looks nervous…she's not good at math but she is good enough to know that there is one pendant missing from the count, 4 total pendants, 5 girls, THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG OH GOD!
[20:56:29] <Elsa> HE KNOWS!
[20:57:03] <Flaurentine> "I… understand, Sir." With a flip, the little sickly girl turns back around. "I… extend my deepest apologies for acting recklessly…" She softens her tone to a whisper, "… even though I have no regrets since the innocents weren't harmed." Cough cough hack etc you know how it goes.
[20:58:34] <~Oxford> Elsa's face tells him it's time to drop the bombshell. "Which reminds me, Warrant: I was hoping you'd come clean earlier."
[20:59:08] * Joslyn hadn't thought far enough ahead to realize exactly what he meant by that, or how she'd fucked up the numbers.
[21:00:48] * Elsa coughs nervously exactly twice, she begins saying with a shaky voice, "I-I d-d-don't knowww w-w-what youre talk-k-king about…sir."
[21:01:12] <Caitlin> Caitlin resists the urge to write Invisible on her forehead.
[21:03:52] <Joslyn> "I…oh." Oh. right, that pesky little thing called 'how did you deploy 5 girls with only 4 pendants'. And Now Joslyn is sitting on the floor, head hung to keep people from seeing her face.
[21:08:32] <~Oxford> "I'm willing to guess if I have to, but I'd like to hear it from whoever's responsible. What happened, and how long has this been going on?"
[21:09:27] <Joslyn> "S-s-sir?"
[21:10:02] <Joslyn> "C-can I m-make a re-request?"
[21:10:56] <Elsa> "I…uhh…" She seems to be at a loss for words."Since right…during…" She can't really recall shince when exactly oh god so nervous.
[21:11:06] <~Oxford> "Spit it out then, Lt. And don't stammer."
[21:12:00] <Joslyn> "I…I know that…that this may be a bit much but…" Joslyn takes several deep breaths before continuing. "Please…don't ask that."
[21:13:56] * Elsa shrinks as far as she can, but she onlt manages to lift her legs to her chest…yup still floating. "I huh, since when we took out that sub…where was it?"
[21:14:09] <Joslyn> "Elsa? Shut up."
[21:15:13] * Aerendis leans against the wall and sighs, watching the scene unfold.
[21:15:20] <~Oxford> "I won't ask that, lieutenant. I won't ask because I shouldn't have to; because you should have told me the minute you knew." He turns back to Elsa. "I agree - let Parnocus explain, since it's clear she intends to take full responsibility."
[21:16:24] * Joslyn stands up, leaning on the wall. "I gave the gag order. As a precaution to my squadron."
[21:17:04] <~Oxford> "From whom, Parnocus?"
[21:17:44] <Joslyn> "If you weren't privy to the details of what I think you're implying…which I can't confirm nor deny, then you consequently couldn't explain such to a commanding officer."
[21:18:08] <Joslyn> "Had you known what you are assuming, you'd have been obligated to take it up the chain, right?"
[21:18:48] <Joslyn> "Such action would jeopardize members of my team, and as such I felt it necessary…to make sure you never caught wind of it."
[21:21:23] <Joslyn> "Seems I've managed to fail both objectives…" Joslyn grabs her shoulders,two pieces of steel now resting in one balled-up hand.
[21:23:44] <~Oxford> Westfield raises an eyebrow sharply. "That… sounds suspiciously like something I would say." He holds eye contact with her for a long while, deep in thought, before continuing. "Of course, if you're called upon to testify, you could be forced to reveal this information. At which point you'd be guilty of withholding information from a superior officer. You're prepared for that?"
[21:25:07] <Joslyn> "…no. I…I couldn't…"
[21:25:45] <Joslyn> "I'd resign my commission before that happened. take my chances with a public barrister - with any luck I'd stay out of jail…"
[21:25:48] <Flaurentine> "M-Miss Jos-" COUGH WHEEZE HACK. All that's over to the side, now, are childlike, worried eyes.
[21:27:10] * Elsa stays quiet through all of this, not really understanding most of it but apparently Jos is taking a bullet for her.
[21:27:44] * Elsa holds onto Joslyn's hand even harder.
[21:28:00] <~Oxford> He gives her a stern look. "Remember what I told you, Warrant O'Connell? Back when we got Elsa out of the research facility?"
[21:28:39] <Caitlin> "What you told me, Sir…?"
[21:30:52] <~Oxford> He chuckles, softly, then puts a hand on Joslyn's shoulder. "'This is how the game is played, ladies.' Remember, I have the unit's best interests in mind. As does Major Donalds," he adds, giving his silent fellow officer a nod.
[21:32:34] * Elsa sighs in relief.
[21:32:50] <~Oxford> "So for now, I'll assume you misspoke, and that your official report will reflect more accurately what happened." Westfield frowns and turns back to Elsa. "That reminds me, though…"
[21:33:53] <~Oxford> "Warrant Elsa's courtmartial is finally being called before a commission."
[21:34:38] * Elsa shrudders…thats bad, really bad,"Oh god, cant it be put in hold until…never?"
[21:35:53] * Flaurentine lets out another nigh-silent giggle, noting the tension in the room falling. Her coughing fits seem to fall a bit too.
[21:36:17] <Caitlin> "I'm certain we'll be able to convince them of your innocence, Elsa. Furthermore, Joslyn, I would implore you not to repeat that decision." Caitlin's still quite stiff, even if the tension is past its climax.
[21:36:25] <Joslyn> "Wait…but that…" Oh shit. now she's gonna be forced to either spit it out in open court, or get arrested for not spitting it out. "…dammit
[21:37:46] <~Oxford> He shakes his head. "For the time being, another delay is unlikely, at least. Don't worry, though - I'm already preparing your defense. I just don't want you to be blind-sided by this. You'll all likely be called to testify, so make sure you know what you're going to say, and be prepared for some tough questions."
[21:38:33] <Flaurentine> A small pause to heave a few times before speaking out with a smiling face. "I… I have faith in you, Miss Elsa."
[21:40:19] <Elsa> "Thanks Flauri, I just hope I don't mess up anymore." She sighs sadly.
[21:40:49] <~Oxford> "As do I." Westfield takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "Warrant Højgaard, I'm sorry you stepped into the middle of all this. Things around the unit have been… complicated."
[21:42:22] <Aerendis> "I see. Well, I'll make sure not to include myself in the complications."
[21:43:35] <~Oxford> He chuckles. "Do your best. These four could use a role model." That may actually have been a joke, which would be strange coming from the stern officer.
[21:44:01] * Elsa really doesn't take it as a joke.
[21:44:45] * Elsa kinda thinks he's right.
[21:45:45] <Caitlin> "Well, I would like to propose that we gather and practice for potential questions we might have to answer." Like studying for a test.
[21:45:55] <Flaurentine> Little Flauri makes another tiny chuckle, muffling her coughs with it. She sits up slowly with the same blush and the same smile, feeling perhaps slightly better. "Also… Sir, um… I'd like to make a request after the meeting is concluded. But I.." Cough hack etc. "… don't feel it necessary to… bother the others with it. It's… not quite as important as this."
[21:48:47] * Elsa sighs loudly, "I am going to be so glad when all of this is over. God, this is going to be tough."
[21:49:17] <~Oxford> "Ah, alright. We're almost done. You four have a job to do before bed." He looks around the room, continuing when he's satisfied he has everyone's attention.
[21:49:38] <~Oxford> "You'll recall I mentioned a major operation happening in the next few days?"
[21:49:43] * Flaurentine provides it after coughing up some more blood into a hand, staring at it in disappointment.
[21:50:01] <Joslyn> "…About that…"
[21:50:12] <Elsa> "I think you did."
[21:51:03] * Flaurentine does, of course, stare in puzzlement. She'd shake her head if it weren't rude, but this seems mostly inclined toward the St. Cheswickers, so she makes herself slightly more scarce and returns to the comfort of the pillow. Pomph.
[21:52:00] <~Oxford> "The timetable has been moved up. To the day after tomorrow." He clasps his hands behind his back and fights the urge to shrug. "Sorry for the short notice."
[21:53:11] <Joslyn> "…S-seriously?"
[21:53:46] <Elsa> "What!? And we all just got back."
[21:54:02] <Flaurentine> "O… Oh." Cough cough. "I… ah… I apologize again." The faintest of whispers. One self-sacrifice turned into a pretty big oops, especially if it'll take so long to get a pendant.
[21:55:49] <~Oxford> "I hadn't anticipated being short a man, but our window is very brief." He turns to Flaurentine and bites his lower lip. "Warrant Flamenca, how long do you think it'll take to be combat-capable again?"
[21:57:15] <Flaurentine> "Well… ah… w-without my pendant, Sir, I'm not sure if…" She looks into his eyes and can't resist biting her own lip, wincing to hold off another coughing fit. "… With one, I could provide support without any problems… I… um… learned things during our trip, so I can feel and move things from afar…"
[21:57:42] <Flaurentine> Cough cough cough etc. "I… might not be much use on the front lines, though. I… apologize." Again.
[21:58:59] <~Oxford> He wrinkles his brow. "Provide support? You… that might be valuable. Perhaps I can… alright. We'll work that into the plan, then." He nods.
[22:00:26] <Flaurentine> A bit less weakly, her hand raises for a salute. "Yes, Sir!" Her whole body winces to provide an excuse for the arm to lower itself as her eyes shoot to the floor. "I at least… promise I could be able to keep allied units out of harm's way, i-if nothing else."
[22:01:14] <~Oxford> "At any rate, this will be a joint operation between Cheswhick, Bruinham, and Durnhurst Flights. The first two are already here; Durnhurst is en route and should be arriving shortly. You girls remember them?"
[22:03:08] <Joslyn> "…yes." Joslyn seems a bit out of it currently.
[22:03:15] <Caitlin> "Yes, Sir." WE MEET AGAIN.
[22:03:38] <Elsa> "Remember who?" She asks quizzically
[22:04:16] <Flaurentine> "Ah… I…" Pomf. "… Oh!" Flauri's head jolts back up. "Y… Yes, Sir."
[22:05:45] <~Oxford> "Warrant Officers Mitchell and Doyle. And their CO." Westfield doesn't mention him by name. "They'll be here within the hour, and I'd like you to show them in and make them comfortable. I've arranged a spare dorm room for them to use for the time being, so make sure they're situated. Understood?"
[22:07:13] <Elsa> "Huh, alright I we can do that."
[22:07:28] <Flaurentine> ".. Here?" In a hospital? "Here, here? Oh, I… I'd like to tell them I appreciate the visit, then." Cough etc.
[22:07:31] <Joslyn> "…Are we going to have to put the two of you in different wings of the place to keep from having a repleat of last time?"
[22:07:38] <Caitlin> "Yes Sir, but… Will you be alright working with 'him' Sir?"
[22:09:53] <~Oxford> The Major clears his throat and stands a bit straighter. "I have every reason to believe we'll be completely professional. He's been assigned his own room; please give him this key." Caitlin can't help but notice the room number is at the opposite end of the building from Westfield's office.
[22:11:48] <Caitlin> "Ah… But Mister Westfield, I really do not wish to imply such things, but it's not a 'we' that I'm concerned about. I believe he may still have hostile, malicious intent towards you, Sir." Caitlin appears to be legitimately concerned over the possibility of treachery, though not necessarily from the other girls.
[22:14:07] * Elsa really doesn't know what is going on.
[22:14:24] <~Oxford> "Any hostility he might feel toward me is clearly a personal matter, and…" He looks away quickly. "Warrant O'Connell… did you read his mind? Perhaps you'd best explain."
[22:16:19] * Flaurentine returns to silence and spends her time staring into Donalds' lovely eyes~ … And his mustache.
[22:17:37] <~Oxford> The big man has been mostly silent this whole time. His main concern is clearly Flaurentine's health, and every time she coughs he gets a worried look in his eyes.
[22:18:18] <Flaurentine> And every time she coughs she gets an "it'll all be okay" look in her own eyes… until she stares down at the blood in her hands and it's more of an "oh." But the smile stays on her face regardless so that's something, isn't it?
[22:18:57] <Caitlin> Caitlin's own eyes are averted, "…Ah, yes Sir. His thoughts were… very hostile towards you; if you recall our confrontation with Major Reiker's unit… He planned to prevent you from "escaping" and intended to seize revenge upon you, specifically, to make you pay. It was… very aggressive in nature."
[22:22:44] <Elsa> "He sounds like a really angry man." she offhandedly remarks.
[22:23:47] <Flaurentine> "I'm sure he's… not really so bad…"
[22:24:25] <Caitlin> "I also feel it is important to note that I detected this aggressive plan and mentality of his before the conflict actually took place. Sir, he planned to do SOMETHING from the moment he saw you."
[22:24:44] <~Oxford> Westfield looks for a moment like he's about to launch into a long story, but then he shakes his head. "Later, I'll tell you the source of that hostility. For the meantime, I need you all to give him and his unit a warm welcome."
[22:25:10] <Flaurentine> "… Yes, sir." Cough cough cough cough cough cough cough.
[22:26:37] <~Oxford> That gets a grimace from him. "I won't, O'Connell. Never again."
[22:30:13] <Caitlin> Caitlin nods, though she can't help but feel guilty. Maybe it was just placing needless stress and paranoia on his shoulders. Or maybe there really is a plot taking place. It's best to be open about what you know… Right?
[22:32:50] <~Oxford> "At any rate, you need to go play host. Warrants Højgaard, O'Connell, and Elsa, get out there. I need a word with Lt. Parnocus in private. Dismissed!"
[22:33:38] * Elsa salutes and with a lazy sounding 'aye aye' she goes out to get things ready for the visitors.
[22:33:39] <Flaurentine> "Ah, um, sir… I… I'd like to make my request when that's finished, too." A small salute, but an understanding nod.
[22:33:56] * Aerendis nods and follows the other two.
[22:35:16] <Caitlin> "Yes Sir!" Caitlin follows the other three.
[22:36:19] <~Oxford> Westfield nods to Flaurentine as the other girls file out of the infirmary. It's only a short walk out to the main gate.
[22:36:54] * Flaurentine gives a wave of "I'd like to visit them, too," but… oh, it's too late to say that out loud, isn't it?
[22:40:40] <~Oxford> Out by the main entrance, the clouds have finally withdrawn, allowing the star-lit sky to reflect in the puddles left behind. A chill breeze whistles through the yard, and the gravel drive crunches underfoot.
[22:42:42] <Elsa> "So you met these other girls before? When was it?" She begins interrogating the bookworm, not really putting the pieces together.
[22:45:15] <Caitlin> "…When we were getting you back. We had a fight with them and their CO."
[22:46:28] <Elsa> "Really? Huh, I wouldn't have guessed." She really couldn't not with all of her sleeping lately.
[22:47:01] <~Oxford> It seems Caitlin is the only one of the three girls who was there at the time. On the coastal road below, Aerendis sees a pair of headlights weaving their way around the bay.
[22:47:26] <Caitlin> "The girls are fine. Their CO… less so, but we shouldn't be talking about this now."
[22:50:06] * Elsa has seemingly recovered from her bought of weightlessness and is walking with the others, "Well, I guess we'll meet them soon then."
[22:51:27] <~Oxford> The car seems to take forever to reach the academy, yet in no time it's pulling up in the middle of the drive. The sudden stop sends a tiny avalanche of gravel skipping toward the girls, as three of the black sedan's doors open simultaneously.
[22:55:16] * Aerendis watches. The people arriving are apparently important, so it's a good idea to get as many of their features and mannerisms pinned down as possible.
[22:55:23] * Elsa takes a good look at the other girls as they go out of the car, whoever was driving totally wanted to pepper us with gravel.
[22:55:45] <Caitlin> Caitlin steps back to dodge the gravel. That was a little bit rude.
[22:56:20] <~Oxford> "Hey-o!" Paige is the first one to come skipping across toward them. The exuberant older girl is in her normal Durnhurst School for Girls uniform, complete with beret and neckerchief.
[22:57:37] * Aerendis it hit by gravel! She's been hit by worse shrapnel in the past.
[22:59:10] * Elsa is wearing acoat, man does she wish she could walk around with her wings out. Being a bit jealous but regardless she waves at the girl with an excited "Hey!"
[22:59:52] <Caitlin> "Welcome to our school." Caitlin gives her best shot at a friendly wave. It's relatively stiff.
[23:01:08] <~Oxford> "Oh, um… hey Caitlin. Who are…?" Madison is the next to approach, wearing the same uniform, but walking in slowly with her hands behind her back.
[23:02:22] <~Oxford> "Great to see you again," enthuses Paige, stepping to the side so that Madison can't hide behind her. "How 'bout that big mission coming up, eh? And who're these girls? I'm Paige, by the way!"
[23:02:36] <Caitlin> "I'd like to introduce you to Elsa and Miss Ærendis. Elsa, Miss Ærendis, this is Miss Paige and Miss Madison."
[23:03:52] * Elsa holds out her right hand, the massive scar that starts at her wrist barely visible. "Nice to meet you!" she says happily
[23:06:04] <~Oxford> Paige takes it happily, followed by Madison a little more carefully. The older girl then holds out her hand to shake Ærendis', too.
[23:10:59] <~Oxford> Last to emerge is a slim man in a crisply-pressed army uniform. If Major Westfield is thin, the newcomer is downright gaunt, with hollow checks and a sneer across his face. Major Reiker has arrived.
[23:11:04] * Aerendis stiffly shakes the girl's hand with her left hand. She hopes that the girl put out the right hand to start with to avoid confusion.
[23:12:26] <~Oxford> She didn't, but accepts the awkward handshake with a minimum of fuss. "Nice to meet you, too. Er, are they…?" She gives Caitlin a questioning glance.
[23:13:56] <Caitlin> "They are." Nod. "Ahem, if you'll all follow us, right this way…" Caitlin hands the keys and whatnot to Madison, not wanting anything more to do with Reiker than necessary. Onwards.
[23:16:00] <~Oxford> The unpleasant man seems perfectly content not to speak to mere underlings. Madison falls back from the group for a moment to pass him the key before trotting back up to walk slightly behind Paige.
[23:17:17] * Elsa follows Caitlin around trying to strike some conversation with the two newcomets. "Its my first time meeting someone from a different flight. Its nice to have some new faces around, Arendis here is new herself."
[23:18:03] * Aerendis watches Reiker. She feels an intense sense of hatred and disgust come over her. She follows Elsa.
[23:19:38] <~Oxford> "Always nice to meet new people. We haven't had anyone join our flight yet - still just me an' Maddie. Are you from around here, Aerendis? Ah, I don't mean to offend, but you look foreign…"
[23:27:04] <~Oxford> The hatred Aerendis feels isn't just her - when she glances back, the thin man seems to be staring at her, a twisted grin on his face.
[23:27:54] <Aerendis> "I am from Cimbria, yes."
[23:28:31] <Aerendis> "I just got to this country today, as it turns out."
[23:29:14] * Aerendis then stops and turns completely to look at Reiker. "Ahem, sir, is there something wrong?"
[23:30:57] <~Oxford> He grins wickedly. "Wrong? Why no, nothing of the sort." It could almost be called a cackle. "Far too perfect, in fact."
[23:31:52] <Aerendis> "May I inquire why you were grinning at me? Or was I simply mistaken by my slight vision deficiency?"
[23:32:58] * Elsa looks at the two new girls, "Does he do that often?"
[23:33:06] <Caitlin> Caitlin looks over and tries to get an impression of what he's thinking.
[23:33:37] <~Oxford> Paige is either oblivious or very polite, in that she ignores the exchange completely. "Ooh, Cimbria? I've heard it's beautiful around wintertime. It's so nice to have our allies backing us up."
[23:37:46] <~Oxford> As Caitlin stares deeply into the man's eyes, she catchs a brief glimpse of big, block letters scrolling past, so large they overlap one another and are hard to distinguish: "-eritsheriknowwhatyouarewhatyoudi-"
[23:38:45] * Aerendis stares hard at the man, waiting for an answer.
[23:38:54] <Caitlin> He knows she's reading his mind? Caitlin panics for a moment before realizing he probably is thinking of Ærendis's history. What a jerk. Caitlin walks faster, eager to get rid of Reiker.
[23:39:29] <~Oxford> In response to the Cimbrian girl's question, though, he does little more than chuckle and clasp his hands behind his back. "I believe I should see myself to my room, now. Good night, ladies."
[23:40:21] * Elsa wfollows caitlin
[23:41:06] <Caitlin> Next stop, dropping off Madison and Paige. Then they're clear.
[23:41:09] * Aerendis mumbles 'Double Rations' in Cimbrian under her breath as she desperately fights her urge to…she sighs loudly and follows Caitlin.
[23:41:32] <~Oxford> "G'night, Major!" say Paige and Madison in unison, smiling at the man's thin back as he turns down the next corridor.
[23:45:02] <~Oxford> The two Durnhurst girls walk along quietly behind her, for now. Madison has a small suitcase with her that rolls squeakily along the Academy's smooth stone floors.
[23:48:48] <~Oxford> /session
[22:23:02] <Joslyn> "…" Joslyn is feeling a lot of things. none that she can describe well, but she knows enough to be cognizant of just how badly she managed to fuck things up. "…I'm not gonna be able to get out of this, am I?
[22:25:53] <~Oxford> Major Westfield gestures her over to the other side of the infirmary to give Flaurentine and Major Donalds some privacy. The lamp by the injured girl's bed is the only source of light, leaving this part of the room shadowed and dim. Whispering seems almost instinctual.
[22:27:45] <Joslyn> "I know what you're gonna say, so lemme just get this out first. I know that what I did was stupid, in violation of god knows how many regulations, and if you have to take the bars back then there's not a dam thing I can do to stop you." Joslyn says with a hushed voice, though the virulence in her tone is palpable. She's gonna be going for a while.
[22:29:47] <Joslyn> "But with all due respect, I'm not sure you quite understand the shit that we have to go through every time you toss us out there. It isn't like we can just wave some magic wand and the enemy planes go boom. It's as much of a dogfight as it would be with regular planes. Probably even worse.
[22:31:58] <Joslyn> "And even if you forgive all that, you're still asking teenage girls to go and kill people they've never even met, and not expecting anything to happen to them when the blood's dry! It's a miracle in and of itself that we haven't just turned into emotionless shells without the ability to have any more conscious thought other than killing the enemy, and the LAST thing I need is to be told
[22:31:58] <Joslyn> that what we're doing isn't good enough!
[22:35:15] <Joslyn> "I'm not entirely sure if you noticed, but we're in the middle of a god-damned WAR. And we need every advantage we can possibly get in order to have any shot of surviving, despite the fact that we're still on the brink of being completely taken over! And if Elsa doesn't need her pendant, then we can hand it off to some poor farmgirl who wants to serve her country but can't wait a year
[22:35:15] <Joslyn> for a new pendant to roll of the line. For every body we have in the sky, that's another threat the novs have almost no way to consistently be rid of!
[22:37:17] <Joslyn> "And if you're going to get your knickers in a twist over someone having the ability to be able to serve her country without needing a little necklace to do it, then tis country is in a sadder state than I'd thought. So go ahead, do whatever the flying fuck it is you need to in order to get rid of me. At least I'll be able to sleep with a clear conscious."
[22:38:19] * Joslyn throws two metal bars into some near-inaccessible corner of the room, drops of blood dripping from her palm from where the pin dug in to her skin.
[22:44:26] <~Oxford> The Major arches one eyebrow sharply, an odd half-smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. He tilts his head, almost lazily, to look around Joslyn, back to where Donalds sits beside Flaurentine. The silence in the air is almost palpable, a silence that stretches uncomfortably long in the dimly-lit room. Finally, the officer speaks: "Is that all, Lieutenant?"
[22:46:40] <Joslyn> "…Y-no! It…" Around this point, Joslyn's brain finally catches up with her mouth again. if she wasn't in trouble before…she really got herself in deep now. "…should I start packing my things, or is it just going to be a shalow ditch?"
[22:49:53] <~Oxford> He chuckles at that, incongruous as it is. "No, I have a feeling you'll get a state funeral when all this is said and done. But it's clear there are some things you need explained to you, so listen closely:"
[22:54:26] <~Oxford> "First of all, know that if you'd given me that little rant while the other members of the unit were present, you would be out on the curb so fast you'd wonder what happened. I wouldn't have a choice; it would be a direct threat to unit cohesion. But you didn't do that - you waited until we had some privacy, and however blunt your rhetoric, you clearly have some concerns that need to be addressed."
[22:58:03] * Joslyn is about to voice siad concerns, but wisely thinks to wait for Westfield to finish before doing so, closing her mouth as she listens.
[22:59:31] <~Oxford> "So let me address them. First of all: You think I don't know what you're going through. In that I've never been a teenage girl, I suppose that's justified, but let me make this extraordinarily clear." His tone grows dark. "I served in Cimbria in '28. Third battalion, bravo company. I commanded an armored platoon, right on the front lines."
[23:06:14] <~Oxford> "You know what the casualty rate was? 40 percent, for my platoon. Nearly 60 percent for the unit as a whole. Those're men I trained with, lived with, and fought with - men I considered closer than family, and half of them died screaming as their tanks burned. You think it's stressful to kill the enemy? I still remember Private Morris, wrapped head-to-toe in bandages, begging me to kill him from his hospital bed. I felt guilty once,
[23:06:14] <~Oxford> too. But after that, I never thought twice about killing an enemy.
[23:08:22] <Joslyn> "…" Joslyn is doing her level best to take it all in, but the welling tears in her eyes show that it's dawning on her just how far off-base she was.
[23:11:05] <~Oxford> "Our unit has yet to suffer a single casualty, and that's a credit to the fine work you've all done in the field. But the next time you think you're too young or too fragile to do your job, I want you to think about the men and women you're protecting - civilians, innocents, that those enemy planes have in their bombsights. It's either the enemy dies, or your fellow countrymen, and when you weigh those lives on the same scale, I th
[23:11:05] <~Oxford> ink you'll come to the same conclusion I did."
[23:12:20] <Joslyn> "…understood, Major." Jos' voice is quiet, as if she's not entirely there. "…are we off the record?"
[23:12:59] <~Oxford> He inhales slowly, and his voice loses some of its dangerous edge. "I know we ask a lot of you girls. But understand, I wouldn't do so unless it was absolutely necessary. And I'll never ask you to do something I wouldn't be willing to do myself."
[23:13:30] <~Oxford> "We're off the record, Lt., but I wasn't finished. Feel free, though…"
[23:14:51] <Joslyn> "…the gag order…wasn't my idea originally. I almost thought…that you'd want to know. until someone higher up told me it'd probably get her killed."
[23:17:05] <Joslyn> "But…seeing as I outrank them now, I wouldn't be able to say that anymore. So that's why…yeah." Joslyn is picking her words carefully, saying as little as she needs to in order to get her point across without actually saying anyhing compromising.
[23:18:02] <~Oxford> "Who-…" A flash of intuition plays across his face. "Stranahan," he says quietly, smiling at Joslyn's surprise. "I knew her - we met during the war." He looks away for a moment, voice distant. "She's right, you know."
[23:21:16] <Joslyn> "…it was an order from a higher-ranking officer. But…how exactly did you two meet, if you don't mind me asking?"
[23:25:30] <~Oxford> "…" He pauses for a moment, clearly hesitant. "It was toward the end of the fighting. We had encircled the port at Wadden, and everyone expected it was essentially over. The Nov counter-attack hit us while we were resupplying."
[23:28:27] <~Oxford> "We fought back the initial attack - they didn't have any real anti-tank weapons, nothing that was a threat to our heavies - but our unit was encircled. As night fell, it turned into a knife-fight: a dozen individual tank duels at point-blank, no sense of cohesion. None of us expected to make it out alive."
[23:29:18] <Joslyn> "And she was your top cover or something?
[23:32:33] <~Oxford> "And then…" He nods, talking to himself as much as to Joslyn. "It was pitch-black, that night. When her unit showed up, they were like the Angels themselves. To this day, I've never seen anything more magnificent."
[23:35:09] <~Oxford> He shakes himself a bit, coming out of the memory. "At any rate, we fought our way back to friendly lines. Two weeks later the war was over." He shrugs indifferently, perhaps a bit ashamed by the anticlimactic end to his story. "I'm sure Lt. Stranahan has a more accurate picture of what happened; ask her some time."
[23:36:40] <Joslyn> "I might…but…" Joslyn thinks about the story. "Seven years ago…that's when this happened, right? November of 1928, wasn't that when Wadden fell?"
[23:38:17] <~Oxford> He nods. "That's right. After that, I was promoted to Major and transferred to the Air Force."
[23:40:23] * Joslyn sighs, having stood up just long enough to bandage her hand. "Well…thank you for the history lesson, professor…"
[23:41:49] <Joslyn> "You probably have a load of paperwork needed to push rank change papers through before your…assignment. Do you need anything else?"
[23:43:38] <~Oxford> "Heh." He looks back at her, banishing the last of his nostalgia. "But you had other concerns - for instance, why I wouldn't report a hypothetical pendant-less Warrant to Headquarters. Or would you like to take a guess?"
[23:45:03] <Joslyn> "Because she'd be quite capable of taking the rest of your flight down with her?"
[23:51:13] <~Oxford> He almost smiles - almost. "Quite ruthless of you, but you're not far off. The real reason is that, even if in theory this would let us field an additional pendant, the Brass won't see it that way. Elsa is a threat, in their minds; one too dangerous to let go free. So rather than gaining a member, I'd actually be sacrificing one. A damn good one, at that." He leans against a table, quite informal compared to his usual. "I can't hel
[23:51:13] <~Oxford> p it if the Brass won't look after their own interests; I just have to do so for them."
[23:54:25] <Joslyn> "And that she has a court martial pending doesn't help matters, I'm sure…Although you still have a squadron to manage and promotion papers to fill out, I'm sure."
[23:55:30] <~Oxford> "Hm… just so. Have I resolved your various concerns, then?"
[23:56:46] <Joslyn> 'All except my idle curiosity on who is going to be running the mission in two days…but that's probably not too important."
[23:58:06] <~Oxford> He raises an eyebrow. "You are, of course. Provided you're willing to pick those bars up and start showing this outfit the respect it deserves."
[23:59:49] * Joslyn chuckles dryly. "Right. because it makes total sense to have the belligerent psycho gypsy girl leading a wetworks team."
[00:01:56] <Joslyn> "I mean, you're saying this like everything I just did, things that in any other unit would at best result in being 'thrown to the curb' mean nothing."
[00:03:02] <~Oxford> He returns the smile. "I assure you, there's nobody else I'd want doing it. Every officer questions themselves - whether they're up to leading men into battle, whether they'll crack under the pressure. Anyone who doesn't feel that way should never have been promoted in the first place."
[00:03:42] <Joslyn> "…you're actually serious about this…"
[00:04:08] <~Oxford> He shakes his head, a stern look on his face. "I don't know any CO worth a damn who would throw away talent just because of a little outburst. Do you really have such a low opinion of me?"
[00:05:29] <Joslyn> "…" Joslyn seems to be fighting another bout of tears, but seems to be winning said battle. "why me? Kate or Flauri coulda done this without half the drama…"
[00:09:50] <~Oxford> He gives her a skeptical look. "You really think that? O'Connell is competent enough, but doesn't show anywhere near your ability to keep the big picture in mind during a fight. And while Flamenca's abilities are quite impressive, she's by far the most timid girl I've had to work with."
[00:11:09] <Joslyn> "…point taken, I suppose." Joslyn rubs her eyes and stares at the Major. "I've probably been a complete idiot today, haven't i?"
[00:12:48] <~Oxford> He nods. "But understand: I didn't choose you because you were the least-bad option. I think you have what it takes, and today's…conversation, shall we say?… has only confirmed it. You'll be a fine leader one day, Parnocus."
[00:14:11] <Joslyn> "…Thank you, Sir…"
[00:15:57] <~Oxford> He clasps his hands behind his back and begins to head over to Flaurentine's bed, where the young girl is obviously in the midst of a tearful exchange of some sort.
[00:16:16] <~Oxford> "Ah, you're dismissed, Lieutenant. On one condition."
[00:17:11] <Joslyn> "Sir?"
[00:19:05] <~Oxford> "Find those bars you tossed. I think they ended up somewhere over there…" he adds, gesturing vaguely toward roughly half of the darkened room. "Good luck," he says over his shoulder, heading on to the next crisis.
[00:19:10] <~Oxford> /session